updated 04/23/1979 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 04/23/1979 AT 01:00 AM EST
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."