April 1, 2024

Got Talent: Self-Taught Artist Uses Recovery to Help Repair Broken Lives and Jewelry

1 min read| Published On: April 1st, 2024|

By Gina Horan

Got Talent: Self-Taught Artist Uses Recovery to Help Repair Broken Lives and Jewelry

1 min read| Published On: April 1st, 2024|

Main Street Antiques in Downtown Leesburg is a labyrinth of collectibles, tchotchkes and treasures. 

Perhaps the most precious gem is Willie, the sweet-faced rescue chihuahua who holds court at Serenity and Survival, a specialty jewelry stall owned and operated by his mom, Angie Ward. 

“He makes people smile and gives me comfort,” Angie says. “I always say that we rescued each other.” 

Angie, a former bartender, began her second career as a self-taught jewelry artist eight years ago when she broke her foot and could no longer do physical labor. She credits Main Street Antiques for giving her a chance and embracing her vision.

“I got a stall and began selling personal items then moved on to making keychains, brooches and simple jewelry for charity events like Relay for Life and other 12-step recovery groups,” she says. “Eventually my work evolved into more ornate pieces.”

Completely self-taught, she now creates and repairs unique pieces for customers who often become friends. 

“The recovery process is a part of the community of artists and jewelry designers,” she says. “I’m in it for more than the money . . . I’m actually fueled by praise and hugs.”

Angie has been sober for 14 years and isn’t shy about her journey because she feels a sense of purpose by sharing her talent with others in recovery.

“I think being in the shop is like having a mini-meeting most days,” says Angie. “I also believe my DUI was the best $10,000 I ever spent because it got me sober and created a path to what I’m doing now, which I love.” 

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About the Author: Gina Horan

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