How a simple change
in lifestyle led to an
exciting new career
BY MARGARITA VOLKER
ness by chance. I was an interior designer for
Both of my daughters were
nine years, and did many commercial build-
ing design projects. I stopped working to
have my family, and made the amazing tran-
sition from designing interiors to designing
gymnastic sport pins. It is still a joy after
30 years to design new pins for gymnas-
tics and especially to show the
artful beauty of the body lines of
a gymnast in a pin form.
involved in gymnastics,
I believe a good design is
when all of the elements of color,
balance and form come together.
At first glance, you should be able
to tell what the pin represents.
During the Olympics, people on
the street would approach me
and say, “I want to trade for that
pretty gymnastics pin on your
hat.” I often wondered how they
saw that particular pin in such a
short time, but traders look for
those special features that
make an attractive pin.
At the Sydney Olympics, for
example, many of the pins
had moving parts, like a com-
puter that opened or wheels
that turned. They were very
popular. Country pins are
PINS are like precious little bill-board sized jewels to show people what you love best, especially to highlight your interests. They can represent an
award for accomplishing some new skill level
or for celebrating an achievement or a level
of ability. It can mean a love of country in
the sport you participate.
Pins are also like pieces of
history. They capture a moment
in time in your life to bring back
fond memories. For me, once
I attended my first of 10
Olympics and traded for my
first pin, I was hooked on collecting pins. Meeting and trading
with many USA Olympians, such as Amy
Chow in Sydney, Australia, or Tara Lipinski
and Kristi Yamaguchi in Nagano, Japan, was
very exciting. I even traded pins with IOC
President Juan Antonio Samaranch and
NBC’s Katie Couric, who are both avid collectors.
I went into the pin busi-
those that athletes bring, and they are highly
sought after. Then there are the sponsor
pins, such as NBC. I always tried to collect
the USA Team Member pins,
which could only be traded
among Olympic athletes.
It is still a joy
after 30 years to
design new pins
to show the artful beauty….
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