Local Sale small business Night Babe, founded by Elle James, was nominated by Australia Post Sale Business Centre, and selected as one of Australia Post’s 2022 Local Business Heroes.

Australia Post has awarded Night Babe up to $5000 worth of tools to support and promote business and branding, with new marketing tactics.

Born into a family owning a soft furnishing business, Elle James was surrounded by texture, colour, pattern, and style from the word go. As a child, Elle’s grandmother Margaret taught her the craft of sewing, uncovering a god-given artistic talent.

Sale small business Night Babe, founded by Elle was nominated for an Australia Post Local Business Hero award. Photo Zoe Askew

After high school, Elle followed her love and passion for all things beauty and fashion, moving to Melbourne and completing a 12-month Diploma in specialised makeup. For nine years, Elle was busy working in Bridal make-up, striving to do more and reshift focus toward editorial fashion. So in 2016, Elle headed to Sydney to complete an intensive editorial course with one of her favourite make-up artists, Rae Morris.

“At the end, we had to do a photo shoot, hire a model and create a brief,” Elle said.

“I put together mine and shot it, and Rae Morris said to me, ‘this is amazing Elle, I can’t believe you pulled this off in the time frame I gave you’.

“A few days later, after the course had finished, I got a phone call from Rae saying she had just gotten the proofs back and wanted to tell me how impressed she was.

“I nearly died.

“And from there, I started assisting her in editorial fashion makeup, travelling to Sydney and Melbourne. Rae Morris headlines at lots of fashion weeks, so I began working there and yeah, that really changed my career.”

When the pandemic came, the world flipped upside down, and Australia came to a halt, seemingly frozen in time, including the make-up world. But like they say, sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together, and for Elle James, this couldn’t be more true.

Night Babe silk pillow cases. Photo Zoe Askew

With work on a hiatus and time on her hands, Elle desperately needed to find a new creative output. So, combining her passion for beauty, fashionability and creative talents, Elle employed her sewing skills and started producing 100 per cent mulberry-silk pillow cases.

Thus began Night Babe.

“I am such a creative person, and I really just needed something creative to work on.

“When my mum was pregnant with me, she started working for my grandma at her soft furnishing business; this sewing room actually was the old sewing room that used to be at my grandma’s house,” Elle said.

“But I was always in the sewing room as a kid and would make pencil cases and pillow cases, square things,” Elle laughed.

“Growing up, I used to be like ‘ugh, I am never going to sew’ just because I was in the sewing room all the time; but another thing that made me want to sew was in 2020, in June, my grandma passed away.

“And sewing just made me feel closer to her, and I knew she would be proud that I am sewing, so that was another reason I started,” Elle added emotionally.

Night Babe prides itself on its Aussie-crafted silk pillowcases’ care, love, look and feel, creating a tool for the ultimate beauty sleep. And if anyone knows just how important a good night’s sleep is in your beauty routine, it is the busy, working mum Elle James.

Night Babe silk scrunchies. Photo Zoe Askew

With restrictions eased, Elle is back working in the fashion industry, often spending days at a time in Melbourne throughout the week and sewing late into the night for Night Babe orders. Amongst all her work, Elle is the mother of four-year-old Harper, who inspired her business name, Night Babe.

“Every night when I tuck Harper into bed, I say ‘night babe’, and it just seemed perfect,” Elle said.

In under two years, Elle has hand-crafted and sold over 1500 Night Babe pillow cases to customers nationally and internationally.

Despite working a full-time job in the fashion industry, looking after her daughter Harper and running her own business, Elle has no plans to slow down.

Elle will continue to grow Night Babe sharing the craft of sewing with her daughter Harper, as her grandma did with her in a heart-warming tribute to a woman truly loved.