It’s hard to imagine Steph Adams spending a day at home working in her PJs, but the self-deprecating author, art director and mum knows all too well about the struggles working mums' face...
So how does she juggle the ever elusive balance of maintaining a successful career alongside caring for her two-year-old son Bailey? “I don’t always. Sometimes it’s a real struggle. If it looks like it’s going to be one of those days, I just give in and I don’t try and do it all. If Bailey needs my full attention, I will then just catch up on work at another time, even if it means through the night or from 5am when Bailey is asleep.” Read on to see how the Perth-born Singapore-based author of Good to Glow and The Game Changers; Success Secrets from 40 Women at the Top prioritises health, family time and date nights with her husband on top of running her inspiring blog and ever-growing social media presence.
Photography: Grace Alyssa Kyo | Hair and makeup: Kirsten Laiken | Words: Marisa Remond | Go to www.stephadams.com
What’s a typical morning like in your household?
My husband and I try to take a morning walk at around 7am most days with our son. It’s a nice way to spend time together and we walk to our local coffee shop and back again. Saturday mornings my husband and I will do a bootcamp class together. I will also make a green smoothie before I sit down to start my emails and work.
SHOP: The Game Changers: Success Secrets From 40 Women At The Top: How To Become A Fearless, Fabulous Girl Boss by Samantha Brett and Steph Adams
What is the best advice you’ve been given about motherhood?
I actually haven’t taken anybody’s advice, I have sort of done it my own way. What motherhood has taught me though is that life is sometimes chaotic and that’s ok. Life isn’t always going to go perfectly, but that’s just the journey. I have most definitely learnt to slow down and to take the time to enjoy the present moment.
What’s your approach to raising a boy – what values do you want to instil in Bailey?
To be a kind, thoughtful and a caring person who is not afraid to go out and conquer the world whichever way he wants to.
Can you tell us about your childhood...
We had a wonderful child hood. I grew up in Perth, Western Australia and I have two younger brothers, a step-sister and a step-brother. My mum would spend all her time with us when we were very young, taking us to the beach or to play in the park. We spent a lot of our time with our cousins and I remember there was always “Friday night specials” – where dad would bring home chocolates and we would have a movie night in and usually get takeaway food. Mum grew up in a large family but my grandmother had very good morals, which have been passed down and instilled in us. I think it’s so important because it moves across to how you treat other people and mum has always taught us to be kind to others.
Where did your love of fashion begin?
Possibly from when I was a little girl and I would always be in my mother’s closet, pulling out her clothes and trying them on. I’ve most definitely had some fashion blunders though! Sometimes I don’t always get it right! Travelling the world when I was younger modelling inspired my interest in fashion and also when I was working at Net-a-Porter in London, I became more interested in the quality of garments.
Can you tell us about your career path? Have you always been ambitious/determined?
Yes, I started to become ambitious after my parents’ divorce in about Year 8. I realised that if I wanted anything, I had to work for it.
What’s your approach to getting dressed each morning?
Honestly, most days I’m just in shorts and a T-shirt. Sometimes if I’m on a deadline, I will stay in my PJ’s and keep working all the way through! If I have a day like that, I will try and plan a dinner date with my husband, so at least I will get out of the house in the evening and into something a little sexier and more glam!
Is your wardrobe organised?
It starts off that way, but it’s a complete mess at the moment! My shelves that carry my bags and shoes are always immaculate as that’s what’s most on display. I am handbag obsessed!
Favorite social media platform and why?
Instagram is my most favourite as I’m more of a visual person. This year I haven’t spent as much time as I used to on instagram as I was in the process of putting together two books Good to Glow and The Game Changers. I still post on it around 3-4 times a week though.
Why do you think you’ve got such a huge following – what are your tips for those trying to build a social media presence?
When I first started, I was on it all the time, collaborating with different brands, traveling the globe and posting about hotels etc and interviewing different people. It built itself organically. I still don’t think of it as being that large a following when you compare it with some of the girls I started with. It did help launching a global book this year as we had a page dedicated to also following us on Instagram and that has definitely helped.
What is your approach to wellbeing?
I believe it’s really important to be healthy and I have always done so since I was modelling from the age of 17. I like to have a green juice everyday and I try and eat healthy 80% of the time. I need to exercise at least three times a week and I try and and drink two litres of water every day as I believe this clears your skin and flushes out toxins. Our book Good To Glow was released in April 2016. It’s a collection of healthy, gluten-free recipes from different celebrities, hotels, spas and cafes and is a great travel bible for anyone that is health obsessed! This book was put together with my co-Author Tali Shine and was a book that took us two years of work to finish.
What is your definition of success?
This is a tough one because sometimes I believe that if you are healthy, live a balanced and happy life and instil good morals into your children, this looks like success. More and more now I think we just need to find a balance between work and the love of our family, friends and children. If we overwork ourselves, our health suffers, so I think it’s about finding a balance right across the board.
What about advice to young women starting out in fashion – what advice would you give them for succeeding in the fashion industry?
Don’t do it! Ha! No not really. It’s a saturated market, so I guess if you have a lot of passion in that field, anything is possible!
Can you tell us about your new book The Game Changers: Success Secrets From 40 Women At The Top: How To Become A Fearless, Fabulous Girl Boss – what inspired it and who have you featured in it?
My co-Author Samantha Brett and I would take walks together, often discussing and brainstorming ideas, when we decided to put together The Game Changers. We wanted to highlight the great successes of women today, and we were in contact with some incredible women, so it was a natural process to put this book together and prove to women aspiring to follow their dreams, that these days anything is possible. $1 from every book is donated to the breast cancer charity; Pink Hope.
What are your time management tips – would you describe yourself as an organised person?
I’m not sure if I’m organised all the time, but I have definitely become more organised since the birth of my son – you just have to be.
What’s it like living in Singapore –where are your favourite spots to go with Bailey?
We spend a lot of time at Marina Bay Sands, Orchard, Sentosa and Vivo City. My favourite places to go with Bailey are Universal Studios, Gardens by The Bay, Port of Lost Wonder and Singapore’s National Gallery.
How do you unwind for the night?
My husband and I like to go out for dinner and have a nice glass of wine at one of our local restaurants, especially if I have had a busy day.
Steph's little list of loves:
1. I recently bought a rectangular tray that I’m obsessed with. It holds my jewellery and a few beauty fragrances.
2. Coffee table books! Vanity Fair and Tom Ford. You can never have enough!
3. Coach’s new perfume.
4. Louis Vuitton sunglasses.
5. La Prairie White Caviar cream.
6. Tom Ford handbags.
7. Le bébé Coo bedtime bath for babies.
8. A beautiful bunch of white lilies in the home.