Lizzy Serrano wants to design black skateboard sneakers so cool that fellow eighth graders would gladly fork over $40 to buy them.

Her "Half-Pipes" would feature side pockets for laces because few self-respecting middle schoolers bother to tie bows. They'd include an overstuffed foam tongue—an antidote to the complaints of hipsters who wedge tube socks into Vans and Converses to give them a fashionable puffiness.

Great idea, especially for a 12-year-old, who might make it big one day as a marketing consultant to the likes of Nike. ...

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