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Andris has sales in his soul

Last update - Thursday, September 3, 2009, 13:33 By Catherine Reilly

Catherine Reilly meets young Latvian Andris Vieleckis, whose gifts for business are being put to good use in two completely different areas.

‘TWENTY-FOUR hours is just not enough for me,” says Andris Viel-eckis, a Dublin-based Latvian who runs a print cartridge refill store – in addition to resurrecting a promising personalised gift business.
The 28-year-old has a “sales soul”, as he puts it, and genuinely loves to see his customers satisfied. In sales since he was 17 years old, Vieleckis comments: “I am so happy when I see a customer happy. I believe you can train anybody to do anything but I have a sales soul. You have to be passionate about pleasing the customer.”
Originally from Emburga in the Jelgava region of Latvia, Vieleckis attended high school and college in Riga before emigrating to Ireland in 2004.
He has been involved in numerous roles and business ventures, and one of his most enjoyable years was spent airborne – as a flight attendant with Ryanair.
“It’s the greatest job you can enjoy, if you don’t have any phobias,” he jokes. “I like the saying ‘if you do the work you love, you don’t have to work’ – but it was tough sometimes.”
The businessman also climbed the ladder at car rental firm Hertz in Dublin, but has always been drawn towards being his own boss. “I’d say I enjoy the freedom, being as creative as I can be, and not limited to some borders.”
Presently, the Latvian is running the Santry-based franchise of Cartridge Warehouse.
“Every household or business has a printer,” he comments. “A new cartridge costs X, Y or Z money, but if you get a refill you get the same thing but up to 50 per cent less ” In these more belt-tightening times, it’s a business with heaps of potential, he notes.
Elsewhere, the energetic Vieleckis is helping to develop a business founded by his friend and business partner, Vitolds Gumbins. The company, 3D Art, creates gifts and awards made of artificial crystal, with subsurface engravings which can be personalised.
Materials come from Russia, Germany and China, and Vieleckis describes the products as the perfect gift for companies “that want to be creative and impress somebody”.
3D Art’s slogan is “challenge the impossible”, and Vieleckis says they aim to give the customer exactly what they’re hoping for. Indeed, one of the company’s clients is Coca-Cola in the Baltics, and Vieleckis hopes that a fresh drive in Ireland can garner further custom.
Vieleckis adds that despite the current downturn, he believes the Irish Government is still providing a decent business environment, but despairs at the situation in his native land.
“I don’t want to read the news anymore, ” he says, “it just makes you so sad.”
Despite his obvious hunger in business, Vieleckis seems to have a core interest in serving the community – something he feels is essential for any successful business. And he thinks that challenging times are a call to arms, so to speak, for all budding entrepreneurs.
“If you don’t have a job, look at it as an opportunity to start up your own business, to find  what your own qualities are, and to use them for profit.”

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