New storefront opens for Ability Center of VA ‘ArtWorks’ program


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — With the snip of a ribbon, there’s a new storefront in Virginia Beach. They’re selling kind words, best wishes and season’s greetings.

But it’s more than that. Each card is crafted with care by someone with a disability.

The opening of the store is six years in the making. The artists at the Ability Center of Virginia have been making the cards since then, but they’ve only been sold at a few locations in Virginia Beach and at craft shows.

Now, they have a storefront to call their own.

“It’s just a sense of pride,” said Michelle Prendergast, executive director of the Ability Center of Virginia. “We are thrilled to have opened a storefront here where people can come in and buy these beautiful cards and meet our artists too.”

Because of the opening, artists like Ashley Bruno can share their favorites with the public.

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“I love Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s,” said Bruno.

They hope to turn this into a teaching moment, too.

“We’re working with Retail Alliance,” said Prendergast. “We’re going to be providing training for them, customer service training so they can learn how to greet people, take their money, and share about the program, which they already do but we’re going to give them the skills they need so as we grow, they will grow with it.”

All of the profits from the cards go back into programs at the Ability Center.

“You know that the hands of somebody with a disability has created this and that’s not always an easy task,” said Prendergast.

You can purchase cards on Wednesdays at the ArtWorks store at 5825 Arrowhead Drive, Suite 201, Virginia Beach, VA 23462. You can learn more by clicking here.

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