Steph Adams is an accomplished name in the fashion and publishing industry. She is a #1 best-selling author who has nine published books. With a Bachelor of Arts degree in marketing, advertising and communications, Steph began her career as an international model before changing into a career of an Art Director in the publishing industry. As an Art Director, Steph had to create creative concepts for high end brands, winning accounts over the various magazines she was working with, from Loreal, Chanel and more.
Launching www.stephadams.com over a decade ago, Steph has been called in for event appearances, appointed an ambassador and fronted social media campaigns for luxury brands. Her latest book: Fashion & Style recently hit number 1 on the best-selling list in France and best-selling in the US.
Over the course of her career, as a celebrated art director Steph Adams has overhauled the image of Net-a-Porter’s very first magazine and lent her eye over other high end publications from British Vogue, Vogue Australia, Harpers Bazaar UK, Marie Claire Australia, Elle UK and Conde Nast Traveler.
Steph has been featured across Vogue as “best of front row” and various other magazines as well as news networks and online from, Sky News UK, World News, ABC America, The Daily Mail, Good Morning America, BBC, CNN, Fox Sports, Channel 7’s Daily Edition, ABC Radio as well as magazines including; Vogue, Tatler, Glamour Spain, Vanity Fair Italy, Harpers Bazaar, Elle and more.
Women On Topp spoke with Steph about her experiences as an incredibly motivated, business-minded woman.
Can you share a story about what brought you to this particular career path? How did you become an art director and what has made you turn into an author as well?
Growing up in Perth, Western Australia is such a beautiful part of the world. I was very lucky to have such a great childhood. I’ve always been inspired by my Grandfather who had a strong work ethic. He was a Queens Counsellor, who brought the drinking age down from 21 to 18 in Australia. He was always been called for advice from Politicians. We were always meeting different incredible people from all walks of life and I think this is really important for people to have. I’ve enjoyed always listening to other people’s stories, even in my early teens been taken to Broome when my father had business up there and I would sit and listen to the older Aboriginals who would talk about their love for the land. I love having conversations with people who can open up to you and I think this is what has inspired the many interviews I have shared across my books over the years.
After I finished a Bachelor of Arts degree in advertising, marketing and communications. I moved to Sydney and into the world of publishing, where I started working with Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, Marie Claire, Instyle and more. I created my first coffee table book for Harpers Bazaar and then I started my own design studio where I would be creating books for clients and interviewing them. I would be working around the clock. Working a day job in publishing and then designing for clients all through the night when I got home.
What was (so far) the most exhilarating or fulfilling experience you’ve had as an art director and an author?
Working with Net-a-Porter in London was one of the most incredible experiences because it was the beginning of the digital space and was only just starting to take off. I was able to see the power of the internet and how many people were actually buying online. It was an incredible insight and that’s when I decided to move into the digital landscape, becoming a digital influencer and interviewing people across my website, which ultimately led to producing books and collaborating with luxury high-end brands. I’ve met so many incredible people on this journey and I have a lot of people around me to be thankful for. If it wasn’t for them I may not be in the position I am today.
What was the craziest, weirdest, wildest experience you’ve had as a bestselling author?
Been called onto Sky News to give an interview on Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s wedding.
What does a writer need to know if he/she wants to become a bestselling author?
It’s best not to think about the outcome, do it because you love it and because you want to do it for yourself. Your passion is apparent in everything you do, what makes you so passionate about your work? I think that with anything you do, it needs to come from somewhere inside you. Passion comes from loving what you are doing, which is key to being creative.
What do you think goes into making a great book?
Knowing what people want and doing things differently. Producing unique and quality content.
What are the biggest challenges you have been through when publishing your book? How did you manage this?
I published my first book in 2016, and there were many challenges. Different publishers would not take on the book. The way to break through is to self-publish and then see how well the book does before going to a publisher.
What tips do you have for aspiring authors?
To remember that every story that is told is unique and that you need to tell your personal story because no one else will, and you never know who’s life you could be changing.
What tips do you have for writing a bestseller?
Be consistent, be unique and know what people want. How would you go about figuring out what publishing route is best for you? You never know, you just have to do whatever it takes.
What advice can you give our readers to become more creative and how can they find better inspiration?
It’s important to take time out for yourself. I had to go into a creative space where I didn’t speak to anyone for months last year. It was the only way that I could produce the books through the lockdown of 2020. Just remember to follow what you are most passionate about and keep moving forward to achieve what you need to.
There are many people who discover their passion for writing, even when they already have a job in another field. What would you tell them?
To spend some time each day even it’s for 15 minutes and just write for themselves.