THE BLOG
12/05/2014 11:25 am ET Updated Feb 04, 2015

Women in Business Q&A: Stina Wahlqvist, Penclic

Swedish company Penclic started their journey of computer reinterpretation in 2011. PC mice have existed for more than 30 years with little to no advancement. Penclic flips traditional mouse design on its head to bring a completely new shape to the market that not only looks attractive but also brings substantial ergonomic benefits. Penclic combines the smart, clean Scandinavian design and the latest technology with sleek, ergonomic design to make computer work more functional, comfortable and efficient. Their Bluetooth Mouse B2 was a 2014 CES Innovations Award Honoree.

How has your life experience made you the leader you are today?
Growing up in an entrepreneur family has given me the opportunity to see from a very early age what it means to run a business and what it takes to be a great leader. I have been fortunate to have traveled and lived in different countries. Understanding people from all over the world has given me great insights into multinational cultures and how to best do business all over the world.

How has your previous employment experience aided your position at Penclic?
Working in the family business gave me a sneak peek into what lies ahead when you begin a new venture- such as an exciting new start up like Penclic. You know what processes have to be put in place and the effort it takes to build something from scratch. Prior to Penclic, I independently set up a sales and marketing office in Australia. It was a great challenge, and a fantastic opportunity for professional and personal growth.

What have the highlights and challenges been during your tenure at Penclic?
There are a lot of highlights and challenges. The first couple of products that come out of production truly excite you! To go from seeing the business potential to actually providing the products that you really believe in is an indescribable feeling and accomplishment. When you get feedback from your customers that they love Penclic products and cannot live without them, it makes all the challenges worthwhile. It makes me happy to know that our products are helping people. With people spending so many hours in front of the computer, we want to make sure they're doing it comfortably.

Any product development company knows that getting the products right, at the right price point, is a big challenge. When you set out to provide high quality at the same time, there can be some headaches. For Penclic, we started creating a new standard, Design and Ergonomics, that fit into the consumer market. It goes without saying you know you are in for a big challenge. Traditionally, ergonomic products are not praised for their "beautiful" design-just for the purpose they serve. We wanted to change that. We saw huge potential to help people and still provide fantastic looking products that are functional. We wanted to find that balance. To me this vision is clear.

What advice can you offer women who are looking to start their own business?
Admit your own potential and use your great drive and DO IT.

How do you maintain a work/life balance?
Turn your computer off J. Find peace of mind knowing that certain things can wait until tomorrow. Delegate. Collaborate. Don't forget to have fun, both at work and outside work. Get a "brain wash" to clear your head. For me, I did this recently by going to France and attempting to kite-surf.

What do you think is the biggest issue for women in the workplace?
Probably the tradition of a male dominated work environment, but it's changing. There is also the challenge to find the balance between family and career.

How has mentorship made a difference in your professional and personal life?
Listen to experienced executives! I have had the opportunity to do that. Learning from their experience, I have made up my own mind and taken action. I believe that this is one of the most important things in life: listen.

Which other female leaders do you admire and why?
Fredrika Bremen, a Swedish writer from 1800 that was one of the driving forces for women's human rights and the right to vote. To challenge the norm and fight for women's rights is, to me, very admirable and has to be acknowledged.

What do you want Penclic to accomplish in the next year?
We want the growing Tech market to accept ergonomic and beautifully designed products for both end-consumers and businesses. To help alleviate the people who suffer from RSI, through more attention to sustainable products that do good for the growing number of people in front of the computers all day, is another huge goal. We want the number of suffering people to continuously shrink! We also wish for pro-activeness.