- by Wendy Sullivan
- photos by Ellis Anderson
Grand Opening on Saturday, June 26
The vibe and spaciousness of the new Mon Amie shop in Depot Row might bring to mind the lobby of a chic boutique hotel. There’s a sofa and comfy chairs. Throw rugs and pillows and elegant mirrors. High ceilings, brick walls and big mirrors, giving the illusion of timelessness. This inviting place beckons you to take a seat and have a long conversation with a friend.
But it’s better than any posh hotel lobby. At Mon Amie, you’re surrounded by tempting clothes and accessories, all elegantly staged. This is a place for recreating yourself and finding your best looks. With your friends.
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In owner Tonya Hamby’s book, the shopping experience should be a much fun as the merchandise you take home. The shop’s concept and its name grew out Tonya’s close friendship with two women, Sheila Runnels and Kacie Suber.
"We have the kind of friendship where we understand each other without having to communicate much," said Tonya. "We are very in-tune. The name 'Mon Amie' means 'my friend.' We chose it for the shop name because of the support we give each other in every aspect of our lives."
Ironically, all three friends despised shopping.
"We discovered many other women felt the same way," Tonya said. "That inspired us to create a place that wasn't overwhelming or intimidating so other people would have a better experience."
But the involvement of Sheila and Kacie didn't stop at conceptualization of Mon Amie.
Tonya says both friends have been involved in the process of the store's creation - from its concept to its daily operations. Shelia handles the social media and design marketing, while Kacie consults about inventory and store merchandising.
Mon Amie makes that easy by carrying “age-appropriate clothing that's still stylish and affordable – while maintaining a standard of quality.” The staff’s willingness to assist makes the experience warm and welcoming. Often, shoppers might find one of Tonya's three daughters in the shop.
The range of offerings at Mon Amie runs from bathing attire to casual wear, with dresses, shoes and accessories. Many are available in a wide variety of sizes, from Small to 3X. Tonya says Mon Amie offers something in every size – “although we don’t have everything in all sizes.” Assorted shoes include reversible sandals, which add a level of versatility that is rare to find.
Clothing for men is provided by Devil-Dog Dungarees, a veteran-owned company that partners with the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) with annual donations. The clothing is designed for comfort and durability for men of all ages.
Tonya's husband, David Hamby, is retired from the Air National Guard, after 22 years of service, which is why Mon Amie supports this worthy cause through the sale of these quality men’s items.
Tonya also promotes awareness and shares information about a rare disease one of her three teenaged daughters has, Sjogren-Larsson Syndrome (more information on Sjogren-Larsson is available at NIH’s website).
The shop also has an active online presence with their website, www.monamiebsl.com, offering options for remote shopping. For our traveling community, this provides year-round access to the retail delights available in the shop.
But you’ll want to pop in at every opportunity to browse the new arrivals, recline in a comfy chair and enjoy trying on styles in Mon Amie’s Depot Row location.
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