Tonje Wahl Evensen (35) is the CEO of Non-stop dogwear, which is now a big international company.
In the office, next to founders Tonje and Kristoffer's house, 18 employees from seven different nations go to work every day.
- Non-stop dogwear has been an essential part of our lives for more than ten years now. It started by coincidence when Kristoffer an I faced a challenge we could not solve; We were competing in skijoring, and no harness seemed to fit our dog, Hårek. The solution was to develop and sew our own harness in between training sessions with the National team.
This resulted in the Freemotion Harness. Read more about the story here.
Tonje was studying psychology at that time. Until 2017, Non-stop dogwear was "just" a part of her spare time.
- My husband was the CEO and part of the team that built this company.
The couple has three children, Hedda (9), Wilmer (8) and Aksel (3). During maternity leave with Aksel, Tonje had the opportunity and energy to learn more about the business' operations.
- I became very motivated to take part in the company. In 2018 I got the position as CEO. Time has flown by so fast. I think an important reason is that our team has big ambitions, is very efficient and always strives for success. My highlight so far was the development of a brand new website with international webshop. That is the biggest project I have followed from the idea to finish so far.
Of course, Tonje has faced some challenges along the way, but this she only sees as a motivation.
- Some challenges are easy to solve, others not. The good thing is, I am never alone. In this company, the team spirit and ability to resolve issues is fantastic. I think a general feeling of confidence and security among all employees is the main reason for that. It is easy to get help or ask for advice. I have learned to love challenges now, simply because they are a part of daily life in a big company. They give me the motivation to find solutions and learn from others.
As a CEO, Tonje wants herself, the team and the company as a whole to do everything exceptionally well. Their goals are high.
- At the same time, we are - and should be - a team that loves to have fun. We challenge each other openly and honestly. We have a golden rule in Non-stop dogwear; a product is never done. The innovative process is ongoing. That is implemented in everything we do. We are a young team with a passion for what we do. To maintain this is important to me. I think the fact that everyone is challenged and involved in different processes is valuable for personal development. We learn so much from each other.
Dogs have always been an important part of Tonjes's life. She grew up with gundogs, and some of her earliest memories are from sitting in a pulka with two German Shorthaired Pointers in front.
- I gradually became interested in skiing, both with dogs and without. When I was about 11 years old I started to compete in skijoring and biathlon. I did sports throughout my teenage years, and as a 19-year old I went all-in with skijoring and dryland. I am not competing anymore, but our dog X is the perfect training buddy throughout the year.
Read more: The office