Are you ready to meet one of the most passionate Oilers fans around? Like, calling out Oilers management at season seat holder events passionate? Today’s Woman of Oilersnation is a gem!
Last week we featured Dr Mecca Fayad who’s got the backs of everyone from beer league players to NHL players. If you missed her feature, check it out here!
Shaan Chahal is an Oilers fan, season seat holder, local Edmonton business owner and overall badass. I remember the first time I met Shaan in person when she popped in for a visit at Nation HQ back in my days of interning and I immediately loved her kindness and energy! Now, you all get the treat of meeting her, too!
MEET SHAAN CHAHAL
KYLA: Who are you?! What’s your day job, what are your passions, what’s something interesting about you?!
SHAAN: My name is Shaan Chahal. I am one of the owners of Sonia’s Runway and born & raised in YEG. I am passionate about a lot of things. I love hockey, politics, Disney & Nintendo, tea. I love to absorb information & I have an addictive personality. I love learning about new things & am not afraid to ask questions if I don’t know what’s happening.
KYLA: How did you get into hockey and become the season ticket holder and Oilers super fan you are today?
SHAAN: I got into hockey when I was younger. Our neighbourhood had a lot of young kids. We would play street hockey a lot & collect hockey cards. That’s how my love of hockey began. I had been trying for many years to become a season seat holder. It took me about three years to get the confirmation that I was eligible. I was very excited.
Hockey has a different meaning in the city. I love going to games and being a part of the atmosphere. Watching hockey is a great escape from the daily work grind. It’s three hours of watching and being able to rage or cheer with a team haha. My love for hockey over rules figure skating and dance. I’m not sure why. Hockey just brings a lot of joy to me, even when I’m upset. I’ve been told I was 18 months old when I went to my first game. My dad took me & it was a Penguins/Oilers game.
KYLA: What’s your favourite Oilers memory?
SHAAN: I have a couple favourite memories. Before I became a SSH, I remember going to one game a series in the 2006 playoffs. I used to leave the arena with no hearing or voice & I don’t regret a moment of it. I remember being there for the last game in the old arena. That was an amazing experience. I was there for the game where we clinched the playoffs. That was surreal. I also enjoy going to games when Montreal is playing. Their fan base is one of the funnest to deal with. They understand when they aren’t good & aren’t afraid to admit it.
I’ve travelled a few places for my Oilers as well. My mom & I went to the Europe trip & had a blast! It was a very cool experience & we met so many Oiler fans from all over the world!
KYLA: I’ve heard stories about your tenacity at season ticket holder events and standing up and asking the tough questions that fans want to hear. Have you always had that confidence in your voice or have you had to work at finding it?
SHAAN: I love this question! I’ve been raised to always speak my mind when something doesn’t feel right. I used to be afraid to voice what I was feeling. But, my passion for hockey somehow changed that haha. I remember speaking out even at my first season seat event.
The last event I was at, was during the decade of darkness. I was getting really irritated with all the vague answers. So, I spoke up and called out management and ownership. I should have recorded it. I do remember not being able to feel my legs after saying it & moments after were definitely a blur.
I am a very outspoken person & have a lot of opinions. Throughout the years, I’ve learned to be diplomatic on how to talk about issues. Hockey is one place I don’t follow that rule. I am very passionate about the team & their players.
KYLA: Can you tell us about your business, Sonia’s Runway?
SHAAN: Sonia’s Runway is a women’s clothing boutique owned by my mom & I . We’ve been open since 2007. Mom & I wanted to go into business together. Mom wanted to actually open a home decor store. I have a fascination with marketing and trends and my mom loves fashion.
We researched to fuse together the ideas and start a business together. We wanted to have a mother/daughter concept. A side for “mothers” to shop on and a side for “daughters”. It has actually evolved with us. We’ve gone from Rocawear to clothing brands like 360. We carry a large variety of clothing for women. Our brands are from Europe, Canada & the States. Our prices are from mid to high range. Our sizes go from 2/XS -16/xl . We cater to a broader range of women.
KYLA: What has your experience as a business owner in Edmonton been like?
SHAAN: Our experience as business owners has definitely been an eye opener. This is our first venture as business owners & we learned a lot in these last few years. We taught ourselves everything there is to know about the industry. We’ve met a lot of amazing business owners & customers as well.
KYLA: What’s the best advice you can offer to other business owners or aspiring entrepreneurs?
SHAAN: For other business owners or entrepreneurs, I would tell them not to give up. There’s been a lot of ups and downs since we have been open. There have been times where we were not sure how things were going to go, or how we would deal with a situation. But, we persevered.
There is going to be a lot of hurdles along the way. Take a deep breath and believe in your company, believe in the process, and most importantly BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. Make sure that no matter how much time you spend working on your career, take time daily for yourself.
When the lockdown started, I had no idea how much time I spent focusing on the business rather than my own hobbies (which is why hockey is my escape), that you can easily find yourself losing yourself. Keep up with your hobbies, find other things that can help you stay calm & zen.
KYLA: What does hockey and being a part of the Oilersnation community mean to you?
SHAAN: Hockey means the world to me. I always make sure I am near a TV or some sort of device where I can watch my Oilers play. My mood is very dependent on how the game is going haha.
I remember being curious as to what fan sites were online. The first site I saw was Oilersnation. I fell in love with it. The people behind the operation have made me feel so welcome & like I belong. As you know, it’s hard for a lot of people to believe that a woman *gasp* knows terms and players and how a sport is played. I’ve met and interacted with so many incredible people here. It’s a community that has welcomed me with open arms.
her Soul Shot shows women how powerful they are through sport by providing resources, community, and inspiration for all women to live their soul’s truth and take their shot in sports.