A Q&A with Fancy That/ The Roundstone
By Tianna Edwards
If you’ve found yourself at the corner of Princess and King street in the past 20 years or so, you’ve likely stopped into clothing stores Fancy That or Roundstone. These shops are a staple of Kingston’s downtown. 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.
Owner Maria Cronk
Tianna Edwards: 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.
TE: What has changed the most about owning a business downtown Kingston in the past 20 years?
MC: Downtown Kingston has grown so much over the past 20 years. With the K-Rock Centre, Market Square, the Grand Theatre and having the largest number of restaurants per capita in Canada, Downtown Kingston is so much busier and people are travelling from all over to visit us!
TE: What do you love about owning a business in Kingston? What are the benefits?
MC: Kingston is full of entrepreneurs and I love the community it has created. Our vibrant BIA has brought many of the downtown business owners together so we can support each other and work together to make downtown Kingston a place for everyone!
TE: What advice do you have to any budding entrepreneurs in Kingston? Any lessons you’ve learned that you’d like to share?
MC: You need to be patient because sometimes things are great and sometimes it is challenging. So you need to ride the roller coaster. You also can’t take things personally, you need to focus on what you do best and not worry about what others are doing or saying.
" There is lots of buzz downtown and we feel so lucky to be right at the centre of it! "
Fancy That/ The Roundstone
Where: 48 & 50 Princess Street., Kingston
Tianna is a wife and mom of two young kids with a day job as an Equity, Diversity, Inclusion Coordinator at Queen's. She takes pride in living in Kingston and loves celebrating all things local (mostly food related!) through her blog, Keep up with Kingston. Follow Tianna's blog for more local food, culture and shop inspo. Get the latest from her over on instagram.