CHICAGO — Two weeks ago, Liz Spurlock used her artistic talents to paint Blackhawks logos on her Converse All-Stars and wore them to school.
Reaction to the 15-year-old Wheaton North High School freshman's footwear was so popular, she created the Facebook page Kustom Team Kicks, which has begun to sell an extremely limited quantity of the shoes. Photos of the shoes have been shared on Facebook more than 1,000 times.
"It was really cool how it spread so fast and how people thought my art was cool," Spurlock said. "I was surprised how many people were interested in them."
Listen to Senior Editor Justin Breen tell Liz Spurlock's story:
Spurlock spends hours designing each set of black All-Stars, using textile paint to make the Hawks' Indian feather logo on one shoe and their "C" with crisscrossing tomahawks on the other.
Price is negotiable, and Spurlock, who has "homework, drivers ed and volleyball" and stressed she doesn't have time for large orders. She had to decline a request from one potential customer who wanted 17 pairs of the shoes for his wedding party, said Spurlock's mother, Lynne Pauly.
Spurlock is donating 5 percent of proceeds to The Ross K. MacNeill Foundation and the Bryan & Amanda Bickell Foundation. The latter, run by the Blackhawks left wing and his wife, is dedicated to raising awareness and compassion for pit bulls and "working with them to assist abused children."
"We're really grateful to anybody who has taken the initiative to get the word out, especially for something creative like this," said Alicia Boemi, director of the Bickell foundation. "It's very exciting and it's really cool to see younger kids getting involved in different ways.
"Bryan and Amanda are really excited about it," Boemi added.
Bickell and the Hawks begin their defense of the Stanley Cup Thursday night in St. Louis against the archrival Blues. Pauly has been a Hawks fan since the 1970s, and she's passed the devotion to her daughter, who became hooked after Chicago won the NHL title in 2010.
Spurlock's room is loaded with Hawks memorabilia. She also has hand-painted pictures of Bickell and other favorite players including Andrew Shaw, Marian Hossa and Corey Crawford. Bickell and Shaw autographed one of those pieces.
"She probably wears Hawks clothes to school two to three times a week," Pauly said.
Spurlock's inspiration for the shoes was the Hawks feather logo pin she's kept in various pants' pockets for the last several years.
Her mom has been inspired by Spurlock's new venture.
"The very best thing for me out of all of this was my daughter's reaction to such a positive response to something she created out of her love of the Hawks and seeing her dream about what she's capable of," Pauly said.
For more information on Kustom Team Kicks, click here.