Andy Vines, 27, creator of Lines by Vines, a $100,000-a-year greeting card company, is just doing what comes naturally. "I'm lucky, drawing always came easy to me," he says, but Vines took a few detours en route to his vocation. At the urging of his father, a Long Island adman, Andy headed for pre-med at Northwestern, where he turned out cartoon strips for the campus newspaper and sold a line of stationery to sororities and girls' dorms. Then he switched majors (to psychology) and schools (to Boston U '74). Finally, while on vacation before entering the U of Pennsylvania graduate architectural school, Vines showed some greeting cards he had dashed off to a buyer at Bloomingdale's. She enthusiastically ordered 24, and Andy sank $1,000 in savings to print up 25,000. "I took a big chance the first year," he admits, "but I knew I had a hot item." Bloomingdale's ordered another 24 designs for Valentine's Day. Then came a successful showing at the 1976 New York Stationery Show. Today, three years later, he has his architecture degree but isn't using it. After all, his firm has 50 sales reps and provides him a personal net of $50,000. One problem he does not have: designer's block. Says Andy, who does most of his creative noodling in Manhattan coffee shops, "I just sit alone and let my mind wander."
Marci Papadopoulos of Fremont, Calif. is the first contestant ever to win all five events at the U.S. baton twirling nationals (the solo, strut, dance-twirl, double-baton and triple). That just made her "Twirler-of-the-Year" for the second time (another first)—and Marci's still only 14. Last month she was one of two U.S. representatives at the noncompetitive world festival in Abino, Italy. Encouraged by her Greek immigrant father, a plant nursery owner, and coached by her Nisei mother, herself a former champ, Marci began twirling as a toddler and was winning competitions by age 6. Now an acrobatic 5'5", Marci is shy by nature but an adept extravert on the field, whether captaining Los Compañeros, a local drum and baton corps directed by her mother, or performing halftimes at the San Francisco '49ers home games. The eighth-grader maintains a 4.0 scholastic average although she practices her routines two hours a day, studies ballet, rehearses with the corps and plays on her girls' softball team. Also time-consuming is dusting her trophies—she has over 1,000, plus $2,500 in accumulated scholarships, but the big one is still in doubt. The U.S. Twirling Association is lobbying to get the sport recognized for the Olympics. "That," says Marci, "would be neat."