Fiona Horgan on Launching The Art and Science of Retail to Empower Unique Retailers


Hello Fiona! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business:

The Art and Science of Retail helps unique retailers blend the artistry of retail with the hard numbers to gain control of their business and make more profitable sales, by working smarter not harder. We help them turn their passion for product into the thriving businesses that form the backbone of our communities, add flavor to our lives and inspiration to our souls.

So Fiona, what excites you about being an Entreprenista League member?

The ability to connect, share, and support women led product based businesses

It can be intimidating to turn an idea into a reality – what made you take the leap to start your own business?

I am a lifelong passionate retailer, leading and developing the buying teams for some of Canada’s most iconic retailers. Throughout my career I have always been inspired by the creative and unique independent retailers that I would encounter through my travels. In 2020, I traded a corporate role for an entrepreneurial one and founded the Art and Science of Retail, an online educational platform for independent retailers – I am able to combine my extensive retail knowledge and love of coaching to help independent retailers turn their passion for product into the thriving businesses that form the backbone of our communities, add flavor to our lives and inspiration to our souls. I am passionate about the independent retail community, and want to help contribute to the success of creative product based entrepreneurs.

What was your background prior to starting your own business?

I grew up in retail — starting as a store associate and moving my way up through the buying roles to VP of Merchandise and for some of Canada’s leading retailers. I have a broad background across a range of categories from fashion, footwear, lingerie, home decor and tea! As a member of the executive team, I was responsible for driving sales, marketing product, developing, sourcing and negotiating product, ensuring systems were in place to facilitate the smooth flow of product from design concept to merchandising on the sales floor.

Fiona, did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

I always knew that I had a love for business — it was only after many years in corporate life, getting frustrated with the often slow pace of internal change, that I decided to leverage my skills and delve into the world of entrepreneurship — and its been amazing — I have probably learnt more in the last two years than in the last 10!

Marketing a new business is crucial to raise brand awareness! What was your initial marketing strategy?

Initially I was going to drive business organically through Instagram and Facebook — but I was not consistent in posting and had to get over the fear of putting myself out there.

Entreprenistas are resilient. What is the biggest challenge you have encountered along the way?

Initially I was going to launch a course — but as I dug into the world of course creation, I realized it was so much more than just building a course — it was about building a business brand, understanding and learning the tech components, learning to embrace and determine how to leverage social media organically and through paid….and learning how to find my ideal client to connect with them — so my biggest challenge has been recognizing that this is so much bigger than a course, it’s a business with a product focus, system requirement and marketing components.

What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?

Being exposed and comfortable around new tech — I would not have been exposed to as much had I stayed in the corporate world — I have had to learn a lot of new things — Canva, social media posting, website design, learning management systems — its been slower than I would have liked, but I am much further ahead in my journey today that I was yesterday!

Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?

Absolutely! You are going to spend the time no matter what…so choose where you want to spend it …. up front setting yourself up to succeed, or on the backend fixing problems. Sometimes you need to slow down to speed up.

What’s a piece of advice you can share that you wish you’d known when you first started your Entreprenista journey?

Being crystal clear on your customer and you messaging — it drives all of your actions, from the product you create to how you market it.

Fiona, you have lots to celebrate! What have you achieved recently that you’d like to celebrate with our community?

I’ve resourced and partnered with a company that provides excellent inventory management tools for small retailers.

What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?

The launch of the Retailers Growth Hub membership — an affordable in depth membership for independent retailers to master their inventory, their financials, and their marketing to drive profitable sales.

Learn more about the Entreprenista League and join today!

Share it!

Posted in

Leave a Comment

Grants You Need to Apply to For Your Business!

The FedEx® Entrepreneur Fund Who can apply? Entrepreneurs who have a connection to the military and/or entrepreneurs with disabilities. What you could receive: $10,000 Deadline: October 6, 2023 15th Anniversary Entrepreneurship Who can apply? Any entrepreneur who submits an engaging pitch of up to 1,000 words highlighting your business and how it would benefit from…

How to Plan for the Unpredictable with Emily Cisek

“You want to do everything you want to be everything to everyone. You want to be the perfect founder, but the perfect founder doesn’t exist you need to be authentic and true to yourself and the type of leader you are.” – Emily Cisek Named the 2021 Women Who Mean Business Honoree by the Houston Business…

Courtney Boyer on Starting a Biz of Her Own to Elevate the Dialogue Around Women’s Health and Sexuality

Hi Courtney! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: Hello! I am a relationship and sexuality expert. I was trained as a mental health and sex therapist, life coach, and Reiki Practitioner. Recently, I published the book, “Not Tonight, Honey: Why Women Actually Don’t Want Sex and What We Can Do About…

The Scoop on Building a Business from Scratch with Kim Malek

“Money is always available, you will find it believe it or not, it really is, but finding the right money. It could not be more important.” – Kim Malek Kim Malek is the Co-Founder and CEO of Salt & Straw, an ice cream company that produces and serves boldly unique flavors made by hand, where customers…

Taking An Integrative Approach To Medicine and Business with Dr. Cindy Tsai

“Life is a serie“I really realized that we need to take this very integrative holistic approach to wellbeing. So often we are focused on productivity and being busy. And we forget about listening to what we’re actually going through.”  – Dr. Cindy Tsai Dr. Cindy Tsai is an award-winning board-certified physician, TEDx speaker, best-selling author,…

Creative Kelsey Kloss on Launching a PR and Social Media Company to Empower Industry Thought Leaders

Hi Kelsey! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: Absolutely! I am the CEO of Kloss Creatives, a PR and social media company that scales CEOs and companies as industry thought leaders. Kloss Creatives clients have been featured by The New York Times, HuffPost, Bustle, and beyond. Previously, I was a journalist and in-house…

Mamaprenista Cinder Trout on Opening a Natural Beauty Brand, Abature, with Her Daughter

Hi Cinder! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: Hello, my name is Cinder. My daughter and I co-founded a natural beauty brand dedicated to lip care called Abature. We make lip scrubs, lip serums, and lip balms all proudly packaged plastic free. Our wholesale distribution channel is currently only available to…

Finding Your Purpose and Fulfilling Your Mission with Dr. Nadine Collins

“When you understand who you are, and why you’re here, you will recognize that you have no competition. Because there’s nobody in the world like you but you. And whatever you’ve been divinely called to do. There is nobody in the world who can do it like you but you because it’s your assignment.” –…

Nicole Pearl Kaplan on How She Created a Business that Provides Her Clients Insights, Strategies and Personalized guidance

Hi Nicole Pearl! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: Hi! I’m a PR & Media consultant who helps small business founders get noticed, grow their brand awareness and become a household name. When the pandemic hit, I heard a lot of people asking how to get featured, and I heard a…

Learning How to Start Over with Olivia Howell

“Life is a series of fresh starts, and everybody is worthy of the support. We are about meeting people where they are and celebrating them.”  – Olivia Dreizen Howell After her own divorce and watching her sister call off her engagement the following year, Olivia was left with two significant questions: Why do we only…

Entreprenistas, Go for These Amazing Grants!

As founders we know how hard it can be to secure funding for your business, so we want to make it a bit easier! Below are our top picks of grants and resources this week!

Creating A New Business Category with Jen Batchelor

“ The more I tell my story, the more I’m like, damn, I would never have wanted to follow in the footsteps of anyone, I really have to blaze the path. Even though it’s painful as sin, I have to put something out there that’s brand new, and let people react to it.” – Jen…

Artisan Joy’s Stephanie Blanchard on Smashing the Myth of the “Starving Artist”

Hello Stephanie! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: I am the publisher of Artisan Joy, a website and magazine that celebrates creative entrepreneurs. Artisan Joy’s mission is to smash the myth of the starving artist by publishing success stories of artists, designers, artisans and makers who have turned their passions into…

Mamaprenista Ami Bhansali of Chai Diaries on her mission to Make Fresh Premium Teas Accessible to All

Welcome Ami! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: Chai Diaries is a lifestyle brand retailing specialty teas. Inspired by my tea-enriched household (three generations of history in growing and manufacturing tea in the beautiful Nilgiris, India), the brand is all about REAL TEA, REAL HERBS, REAL SPICES! Embracing a tea culture…

“Life Coach in a Bottle”, Laura McCann, on Establishing Adoratherapy

Hello Laura! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: My name is Laura McCann and I am the Founder and CEO of Adoratherapy. At Adoratherapy, we invite you on a journey of healing through breath and intention using all natural essential oil based fragrances. After many years as a successful entrepreneur in…