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Early entrepreneurs

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben


  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben


  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben


Photograph: Jolie Ruben



Twelve-year-old Moses Chapin of Long Island City has business in his blood: His great-great-great grandfather founded the piano company Steinway in 1853. After receiving a build-your-own skateboard kit for his eighth birthday, Moses began tinkering with his own boards for fun. Hoping to make a little money, he and his friends hatched a plan to build and sell skateboards to their classmates. "We didn't even know how to paint. It was completely impractical." Undeterred, Moses started spending time in the skateboard section of Paragon Sports learning the finer points of how the vehicles are made. By age nine he was building them from scratch. In 2008, SkateNation officially launched.

Buyers can choose their own colors, wheels and mechanics, and each board is customized in Moses's signature graffiti style. "One customer put it on his wall like art," says Moses proudly. As for the future, Moses continues to dream big. "I hope to attend Harvard Business School. I'd like to be the next Steve Jobs."—Alisha McKinney

Follow his lead!
The School of Visual Arts offers a slew of creative classes like painting and printmaking. Sign up at schoolofvisualarts.edu

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