After going to fashion school, Annalie Bonda followed the usual path of working in the fashion industry, and then went on to own and run a successful wholesale fashion sales agency. However, shortly after giving birth to her second child, she decided to take her career in a new and more fulfilling direction — the non-profit sector. Annalie is now the Executive Director of The Remix Project, a globally respected organization, that gives children from disadvantaged areas access to free educational programs that help them build their natural talents. We sat down with Annalie to find out about her professional journey and to discuss how she is helping to change lives, one young person at a time.
My first job was… Sales Account Manager for Softchoice Corporation. It was a great company that taught me scale and reach of international brands; although, I didn’t have much of a tech background so I moved back into the field that I studied not long after that. My first job was a sub-rep for a sales agent representation streetwear and skateboard clothing brands.
My proudest accomplishment is… The beautiful family my partner Olivier and I have together. He and my children support me in ways I didn’t believe I deserve. My career is thriving because of that support and love.
My boldest move to date was… Leaving my own business (wholesale fashion sales agency) to motherhood then swiftly into non-profit/charity work 7 weeks after my 2nd born.
I applied for my role at The REMIX Project because… Remix was already family to me as a volunteer mentor and instructor for years before. I was already looking into going back to school for non-profit management when the opportunity came forward. What better way to learn than to dive right in. Remix is an incredibly impactful organization and it was an honour to just be considered for the role.
The most fulfilling thing about the work I do is… Seeing the youth reach their goals one hard-earned effort at a time.
The most challenging thing about my job is… The organization is small, so I have to wear multiple hats daily. Those hats have a lot of weight to them ultimately all big and small decisions are in my hands. From crisis management, program directing, financial management, social work even and everything in between; juggling those responsibilities along with maintaining a healthy family and personal life is quite the challenge.
I would tell my 19-year-old self … Learn what you are good at, hustle to be the best at it. Have patience, honesty, humility and accomplishments will come.
If I had five extra hours a day I would spend it… Playing with my children and also SLEEPING.
“Learn what you are good at, hustle to be the best at it. Have patience, honesty, humility and accomplishments will come.”
My greatest advice from a mentor was… Do the work. Take every opportunity as a learning opportunity, good or bad.
My biggest setback was… Paying back student loans. Instead of getting an internship while I was in fashion school, I had to get a job to pay living expenses and school. The system doesn’t make it easy for young adults to thrive into careers. My family struggled through finances my entire life. I was not given a good example of financial education. The stress of not having anyone to lean on to bail me out of financial troubles gave me the perseverance to make do anyway.
I overcame it by… Working and being resourceful. Continuing to prove myself through hard efforts, always being available and able to take on new opportunities. I had no choice, I had to push through.
I surprise people when I tell them… I was born in Tripoli, Lybia to Filipino parents and raised in the Alberta prairies.
The future excites me because… This generation has access to resources and opportunity way beyond things I had on my come up. Every day at Remix I’m learning something new: a route faster, an app smarter, design innovation, etc. The world’s resources are literally at our fingers tips. By encouraging and supporting youth and their dreams; our daily realities will become more and more enriched through these accessible resources.