Adam Japko is paving the way and carving new connections between luxury and a sense of community. Adam is the founder of Esteem Media, home to leading national and local media brands in the luxury home design, gardening, fine wine and multifamily property management communities. If you read publications like New England Home and Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles, then you'll already be aware of how Adam and his team are nurturing this niche.
Adam has a fascinating story to tell, and his commitment to community engagement, quality content and meaningful networking is inspiring to those of us who professionally use social media, blog or create content. Check out my Q&A with Adam below to find out more about his personal style, his design inspirations and his thoughts on the future of digital.
How would you describe your personal style?I love life, live it for all of its sensual pleasures, and above all, love people and the connections we make together. Over a 30+ year career in media, I ran large businesses in corporate environments, having to navigate complex structures and relationships. I was consistently inclined to connect with our people in ways that felt meaningful to them and me. Somehow, it was natural for me to understand that people bring themselves and their personal values to work and not another version conjured up for the workplace. Honoring everyone's unique life priorities was a simple way to connect and motivate, and for me to feel like something more important than making money was going in in our companies.
I live in fear of things getting stale. That's probably a branch of my need for the excitement all the time. I mistakenly think that everyone around me has at least a piece of that same reality in their DNA. I walk around knowing that the status quo has a shelf life. It drives teams a bit crazy, sometimes I get ahead of our stakeholder communities' level of urgency, but folks who get to know me know my need to evolve always relies on practical common sense combined with a dash of informed instinct.
I have never been good at inventing the next great thing, instead just seeing initial signs of resonant strategies take shape while everyone else is wrapped around their routines. Building media businesses that help professionals anticipate and leverage new imperatives is immensely rewarding and exciting to me.
Tell us about your brand and portfolio.My company brand is Esteem Media. I named it that because the filter I use to acquire or launch businesses leads me to opportunities with highly engaged professional communities where content sharing and human connection make people feel good about themselves. It may sound presumptuous, but I like to think our products play a role in building personal "esteem" for members of our communities That is why social media is such a strong component in everything we do.
My personal brand is a bit schizophrenic because I have too many interests. My two main interests are fine wine and interior design. I geeked out on wine in 1986 and never stopped tasting, drinking, and collecting; starting to write about wine at WineZag.com in 2009. The power of creating and sharing wine content on the web and across the social graph convinced me that anyone with a passion and a point of view could become more important, even famous and authoritative, in their extended communities. At the same time, we were helping interior design professionals navigate through social media and content marketing to build their own personal brands. So, sometimes I felt like a drummer, kicking my bass drum and and controlling my high hat pedal simultaneously.
I have mainly settled, and happily so, into the design and wine industries publishing magazines like New England Home and Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles, producing conferences like the Design Bloggers Conference and the Home Design Digital Marketing Summit, writing about fine wine and organizing luxury design & wine tours to places like the Veneto. We run blog tours in the design industry and organize a social media conference in a total different market. But again, we only launch or acquire when we know we can play a central role enhancing community connection.