“We don’t sell, we help you buy.” That’s a slogan that you may have heard Sareena Sharma-Nickoli say on television or radio ads. Nickoli didn’t grow up dreaming of joining the family business. She actually entered university to become a pharmacist – a path she admits, she didn’t pursue for long. However, after returning to the Okanagan to complete her Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree, Nickoli joined her family’s company and is now the Purchasing and Marketing Director for City Furniture.
I began my job by selling on the floor. Today I am the furniture, mattress and accessory buyer for the company, and I get to travel the world to various furniture shows,” says Sharma-Nickoli.
Some of the places Sharma-Nickoli has travelled to include Las Vegas, North Carolina, Toronto, Italy and China. After completing her degree, she returned to the College to pursue an Interior Design Certificate, a program that directly helped her in the challenge of designing a 30,000 square foot show room on Anderson Way in Vernon, an achievement for which she is especially proud.
When Nickoli isn’t at City Furniture, she is engaged in her passion for Zumba® Fitness, a dance-based exercise program that combines hip hop with a variety of Latin dance inspired choreography. In 2008, Nickoli received certification in Zumba Fitness, started her own business “Zumba with Sareena” in 2009 and was a former Zumba Jammer, one of nine selected from Canada and the only one from the west.
Sharma-Nickoli is very civic-minded and uses her passion for Zumba to support the community. Organizing several “Zumba for a Cause” fundraisers, she helped raise $11,000 for the maternity tower at Vernon Jubilee Hospital and coordinated two Zumbathons co-sponsored by Zumba and City Furniture Vernon that raised $22,000 to help purchase the land for Habitat for Humanity.
Sharma-Nickoli is no stranger to accolades. In 2015, Sharma-Nicoli was the recipient of the OCAA’s Distinguished Alumni Award. She was nominated in 2016 and 2017 for Vernon Women of the Year and was Top 5 for Canfitpro Fitness Instructor Specialist of the Year in Canada in 2018. She is also a two-time nominee for the RBC Women of Influence in 2018 and 2019.
During the pandemic Sharma-Nickoli quickly adapted her business and began offering virtual livestream classes to keep people moving during this stressful time. Her team of 20 professional fitness instructors have been able to provide a huge variety of fitness classes to give people a well-balanced workout at one stop. Soul Studio is one of the first fitness studios to be offering in-studio classes livestream to anyone in the world.