Vernon’s Sareena Nickoli, owner-operator of Soul Studio on 43rd Avenue, has been named runner-up in the nationwide Canada Post 2021 Tales of Triumph contest in the Offline to Online category. (Instagram photo)

Vernon’s Sareena Nickoli, owner-operator of Soul Studio on 43rd Avenue, has been named runner-up in the nationwide Canada Post 2021 Tales of Triumph contest in the Offline to Online category. (Instagram photo)

Canada Post shows soul for Vernon studio

Soul Studio named runner-up in Canadawide Offline to Online Tales of Triumph contest

Small business, big impact.

And triumphant.

Vernon’s Soul Studio, owned and operated by Sareena Nickoli, which offers a wide variety of classes from indoor cycling, to yoga and Pilates, has finished runner-up in Canada Post’s nationwide small business 2021 Tales of Triumph contest in the Offline to Online category.

“I just wanted to say thank you to Canada Post for recognizing and taking the time to bring awareness to small business,” said Nickoli on her Instagram page, @sareenanickoli. “I feel the pandemic has taken away the light from so many small businesses. This news couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I am so grateful for the opportunity.”

Nickoli first read about the contest in a Canada Post email last May, and put her business forward. A month later, she got word she was a top-five finalist in her category.

“I can honestly say that I didn’t have my eye on the prize, as exposure is what I was going for the most,” said Nickoli. “The last month and a half has been extremely hard on me and my business with the recent never-ending restrictions.”

On Oct. 1, she was told she was the runner-up, winning a $10,000 prize package that includes SmartMail Marketing, exposure on all Canada Post social media accounts and the opportunity to be featured in blogs and newsletters that get sent out to 450,000 people across Canada.

“Plus, the thing I’m most excited for is the one-hour coaching session with an expert from the panel of judges,” said Nickoli, who opened Soul Studio in 2014, wanting to show customers that exercise could be both beneficial and enjoyable.

The studio, off 43rd Avenue across from MacDonald Park, welcomes all ages and fitness levels.

When COVID forced facilities to close, Nickoli was determined to keep her members moving.

She set up a webcam and with her team of instructors began hosting live classes via Zoom. Nickoli posted about the classes on social media and soon had people from across Canada, the U.S. and as far away as Australia joining in.

When the studio reopened, the virtual classes remained popular, resulting in Nickoli investing in high-end audio/visual equipment to enhance the experience.

Soul Studio has hosted more than 2,000 online classes and interest in the business continues to grow internationally.

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