2017 Hall of Fame Inductee
Co-Founder/Director of Product
About Me - My Biography
Adina Jacobs is the Co-founder and Director of Product for STM Brands, a global company designing, developing, and producing lifestyle accessories for personal tech devices.
Adina has a background in product development. Prior to starting STM with her business partner, Ethan Nyholm, in 1998, Adina and Ethan were working together in an Australian fast fashion label. Ethan had been using a padded post office envelope to protect his laptop, and he and Adina realised that there was a gap in the market for quality, productive laptop bags that didn’t look like laptop bags. The company started in Ethan’s garage and landed an invaluable partnership early on with the then-independent Apple reseller network. Over the last 19 years, that relationship has led to direct relationships with Apple retail stores, consumer electronics retailers, and education and corporate markets around the world. The company now has offices in Sydney, San Diego, the UK, and Malaysia.
Adina is also the Australian Co-founder of Mentor Walks Australia, a monthly event service that connects emerging female leaders with senior women from diverse professional communities. Each event is an hour-long walk where a mentor is paired with two or three mentees.
Most of Adina’s days are made up of a good mix of family (she has three kids under 10), STM, planning the next work trip, working on some Mentor Walks activities, and whatever else she can fit in.
Adina is an alumni of the 2016 EY Asia-Pacific Entrepreneurial Winning Women program and an eastern region nominee of the 2012 EY Entrepreneur of the Year award. She is also one of the Rare Birds: Australia’s 50 Influential Women Entrepreneurs and an active member of the Sydney Chapter of the Entrepreneurs Association.
“You’ve never learned everything, and you can learn something from everyone.”
Strategies for Success
- Manage your cash wisely. Whether you’re in startup mode or well established, there are always bills that need to be paid. Make sure you use your money smartly so that you can be a good customer to your suppliers.
- Relationships are key. Having strong relationships and being a valuable partner will get you further in the long run. Don’t just think about this in terms of your customers; this is about all relationships – with your suppliers, your staff, and all the people you work with.
- Think outside the box. Make sure you are immersed in your industry and you are researching and noticing trends that are popping up. What are people talking about? What do they need? Explore what competitors are doing (or should I say, what they’re not doing)
- Mistakes are great learning experiences. It’s important to understand what went wrong and why, so that you can use that information to avoid similar pitfalls next time.
- Really know your purpose. What problem are you solving? How is your product/ service/ethos making a difference to people? This is the cornerstone to your business. If you can’t explain it to yourself, you won’t be able to explain it to someone else.