The 18-year-year old is finishing a challenging time in high school at Rangiora, North Canterbury.
She is embracing her neurodiversity but says “suppressing” herself to remain quiet caused her to tense her neck and clench her jaw and she needed “to put that energy somewhere else.”
She went looking for fidget tools and all she could find where “childish things made for kids, like teething necklaces or unicorns on a string.”
At the start of this year, she started the Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) course at school and decided to start Ātaahua, a business focused on fidget necklaces.
Tayla applied to He Kākano in the last round of funding and was granted $5,000 to explore making her business more sustainable and eco-friendly.
She sells the necklaces on her website and markets and has already sold out of some designs and says, “the funding will help with new gender neutral products for neurodiverse people in Aotearoa”.