Downtown Kingston: 5 Reasons I Will Shop Local This Holiday

Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of I love this city because I make at least one new friend every day and each is more inspiring and fantastic to be around thNot going to lie, I’ve left all of my holiday shopping to the last minute. Have not bought one gift. But living in Kingston, we are surrounded by the best locally owned shops in the cutest downtown and I know it won’t take long for me to find what I need and treat myself to a nice lunch along the way. If you follow my blog, you probably already know, but I want to give you five reasons why I shop local – specifically downtown Kingston.

1. Good Vibes: Have you walked through Springer Market Square lately? It’s like walking through a holiday episode of the Gilmore Girls. Couples and family’s skating on the glistening ice framed by the 11 foot Christmas tree and the beautiful City Hall building. The scenic view gets me in the holiday spirit every time.

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Bluboho’s Beautiful Bloomfield Location

Bluboho Bloomfield When I was initially invited to visit Bluboho I was excited to see the beautiful new space and stunning pieces of jewellery. What I didn’t anticipate was the experience I had when I stepped through their doors.

Yes, the space IS absolutely stunning. A century building on Bloomfield’s Main Street, with its intricate details beautifully preserved and light airy decor to complement. The space holds lovely one-of-kind pieces in gold, rose gold and silver accented with unique stones but it also holds a warmth that I can’t do justice through a few filtered Instagram images. Continue reading

#DKShopfest Feature: Fancy That/Roundstone Owner Maria Cronk

If you’ve found yourself at the corner of Princess and King street in the past 20 years or so, you’ve likely stopped in to clothing stores Fancy That or Roundstone. These shops are a staple of Kingston’s downtown and where you’ll find great deals on June 16 as downtown Kingston celebrates DKShopfest. DKShopfest is a day dedicated to celebrating and supporting our locally owned shops while scoring great deals. I wanted to learn a little more about Fancy That owner, Maria Cronk. She was kind enough to answer a few questions via email. Read below to learn how Fancy That started and what Maria loves most about being a Kingston shop owner.

Keep up with Kingston: Please share how Fancy That started? How many years have you been open?

Maria Cronk: Fancy That Group started in 1974 by Inger Sparring (my mother) in Brockville, ON. We started as one small store in Brockville, ON and grew over the years. At one point we had nine stores across Eastern Ontario! Now, we have two stores in downtown Kingston (Fancy That & the Roundstone) and one store in Brockville (Limestone & Ivy). IN 1979, my brother, Dan, joined in the business, he runs our store in Brockville, and I joined in 1985 to run the Kingston stores.

We came to downtown Kingston in May 1985 with Fancy That. Continue reading

Pre-Made Meals Done Right: The Bella Market

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it many more times: I love Bella Bistro and the Bella Market. Their attention to detail is impeccable, they always source locally and as a result their food quality is s top notch. I wrote about The Bella Market when they first opened and now that they’ve been open a few months,  I want to share with you how much I love their pre-made meal options. As someone who loves to cook and doesn’t love buying processed frozen meals from the grocery store, their pre-made meals are perfect when I’ve had a busy week. When I visit Bella, the staff are always happy to share their culinary expertise and I love how excited they get about their food! I appreciate how they can always share a personal experience and insight on anything I am considering picking up. Continue reading

Shop Local: Kingston’s Holiday Markets

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Photo by Kari Shea on Unsplash

The countdown to Christmas is officially on and this is the perfect time to share all of the goodness that Kingston’s makers have to offer. Thanks to a few very festive markets
— you can easily support local and treat loved ones this season. Scroll down to see where you can find your locally sourced Christmas gifts.

Kingston Holiday Market – 274 Princess Street – Saturday, November 18th (Open for 6 weekends)
From locally made chocolate and jewelry to bath products, furniture and more! Some of my favourite Kingston makers will be here!
Keep up on Instagram: @kingstonholidaymarket
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Five Things I Learned from Four of Kingston’s Female Entrepreneurs

Last night, The Claire Closet hosted a panel discussion about building a successful brick and mortar business with four of Kingston’s successful female entrepreneurs. It was so great to see a range of professional experience and life experience discuss the rewards and pitfalls of being business owners. The speakers were Cyndy Gibson owner of shops Agent 99 and Blueprint, Maria Cronk owner of Fancy That and Roundstone, Tiffany Brick owner of The Annex Spa and Melissa Eapen owner of Improbable Escapes and The Kingston Collective. Listening to these women speak reaffirmed why I started the Boss Ladies of the Limestone City series. They support each other and encourage healthy competition for the greater good of our beautiful city. I admire how they contribute to the awesome town we live in. They also offered amazing advice. If you’re considering launching a business of your own, below is a list of five things I learned from their talk. Continue reading