If there was ever a fashion trend that I could jump on board with, it's custom-painted shoes.

Maddy Hanks, a senior at Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School, is a 17-year-old entrepreneur with an eye for art and fashion design.

Hanks started her business back in August of 2019, but not before getting a little encouragement from her family.

"I can actually thank my mom for the starting of my business," Hanks said. "I really wanted a pair of butterfly Air Forces for my back-to-school shoes, but on Etsy, they were all really expensive and my mom told me 'You could do that,' so I did."

It was that point in time when "Maddss.Customs" began its journey. Hanks painted her butterfly Air Forces and wore them to school the next day with total confidence.

"From that day on, I had people complimenting my shoes and even people asking me to do pairs for them," Hanks said.

Once Hanks started painting more shoes, she took her work to Instagram as a portfolio of all of her work which started to get more recognition by the day. Before she knew it, people she didn't even know were asking her to do custom work for their friends and family members.

"I did a pair of Vans for Mirasol's Café for myself because I love CHiPPis and I thought it would be cool to do," Hanks said. "I didn’t expect anything of it, but when I posted them, they saw them and loved them. They asked me to make another pair and told me I could put them on display in the shop which was a really cool opportunity."

A few months later, the Dartmouth café asked her to do a giveaway with them and Hanks got the chance to create two more pairs for the giveaway winners.

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