HOLIDAY 2021 - Page 19

Monique Bonner brings her lifelong dream of independent business ownership into reality with Addison West

Monique Bonner brings her lifelong dream of independent business ownership into reality with Addison West

Walking through the doors of Addison West , one is immediately transported into a world of rustic elegance . Located in the heart of downtown Middlebury , Addison West features a thoughtfully-curated assortment of fetching home goods , artisan kitchenware , furniture and Vermont-made products . As Monique Bonner strolls past a shelf full of beautifully crafted handmade wooden scoop spoons , her face lights up with a beaming smile . It ’ s only been a few months since Bonner opened Addison West ’ s new storefront location , but it ’ s clear that she has found joy in her new business venture . “ I got my first job when I was twelve years old working at a retail store in Andover , Massachusetts , during the holiday season ,” says Bonner . “ I really liked being in that sort of environment , especially during that time of year . There was a lot of energy , and you knew that you were making people happy .”

While Bonner is grateful to be able to experience similar moments of lively connection in her new line of work as the proprietor of Addison West , she readily admits that she never originally planned to pursue a career as an independent business owner . Over the course of the past several decades , a series of crucial decisions and unexpected surprises have shaped the trajectory of her life path . After working the world of corporate business for 20 years , Bonner was able to summon the courage to take a leap of faith and pursue her passion for home design – and she hasn ’ t looked back since .
Bonner ’ s circuitous journey towards self-actualization began in 1988 when she arrived in Vermont to pursue her undergraduate degree . “ When I first visited Middlebury College , it was an incredible September day . I walked around , looked at the mountains , and knew I was in the right place . It just felt like home .” While at Middlebury College , Bonner majored in psychology and minored in creative writing . She originally intended to continue her creative aspirations through a Master of Fine Arts ( MFA ) graduate program , but her life took a different turn when her application was rejected twice .
Disappointed but not downhearted , Bonner moved to Boulder , Colorado , where she quickly got a job working as a sales associate at a women ’ s clothing store called CP Shades . “ It seemed like a natural fit ,” says Bonner . “ I had worked in retail before , and I really liked their clothing .”
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