It’s the people that make a place.

James St is delighted to shift the focus to some of the real people that make up our community. 

Just like it takes a village to raise a baby, it takes a community to make a neighbourhood – and the people that frequent James St are equally as important as our traders.  It’s a two-way street, literally and metaphorically – without our traders our lovely location wouldn’t exist and without regulars we would be an empty place.

So, let’s celebrate the less than regular regulars – meet a few of our favourite locals below and discover how they enjoy James St via the @JamesstBNE Instagram Reels.

Aiko Nelgian

Founder + Creator of Assembly by Aiko

Our dream girl, Aiko simultaneously exudes good times and zen yoga-master vibes. We are almost certain she is an angel sent from heaven to make us stronger, more centered and to also make us belly laugh. Don’t be fooled by the yoga title, Aiko is not your usual smudge stick waving whisperer, and will adjust you in shapes you didn’t know were possible and sculpt you like Michelangelo, all with cheeky irresistible poise. This matcha and palo santo obsessed gal is equally obsessed with spreading joy, as evidenced by her sculpt x fitness class, Assembly. Set to killer tracks and more a mashup of yoga, barre, pilates and dance, Assembly is Aiko’s signature – all her glorious energy rolled up into an enthusiastic experience that reminds us working out should be fun and that a good time is just as important as perfect form.  In a career working with high-profile individuals and spanning high-flying media and PR roles from New York to Brisbane – Aiko is a James St friend and regular and showed us around a few of her favourite spots.


Aiko’s favourite spots here: CAMILLA AND MARCMosconiScanlan TheodoreSilk LaundryRATIONALE. Plus Aiko’s hair by EDWARDSANDCO and makeup by Brookyln Beauty Bar.


Brigitte Hill

Fashion Stylist + Food Artist

One of the coolest people we know, Brigitte is not only cool, she is a creative polymath, spanning creative disciplines and spotting trends before they are trends.  Fashion stylist, conceptual food artist and Owner of Midheaven Eats, creative director, and cake maker Brigitte’s creativity is not limited to any one medium.  Brigitte has worked with James St and James St businesses since 2014 providing avant-styling but has always been BTS (behind the scenes).  We asked Brigitte to step in front of the camera this time, with her unique and *edgy* take on James St.


Brigitte’s take on James St here: AesopCamargueEssaLiving EdgePROJECT.The Standard Market CoThe Green. Plus Brigitte’s hair by EDWARDSANDCO.


Julia Mechielsen 


When it comes to chic, arty mums, Julia colours our world. Julia’s impeccable eye for detail stems from her interior stylist tendencies and is reflected in her architectural artworks using the grid as a principle compositional structure. In the grand Op Art tradition, Julia’s geometric abstract works explore optical effects via recurring rhythmic pattern in often vibrant colour-combinations that moiré the foreground and background in pulsing visual fashion. The mesmerising experience of viewing Julia’s artworks belies the painterly and labour-intensive process involved not to mention while also juggling the needs of an active and adorable one-year old, Otis.  Julia stepped away from the studio with Otis for some down-time on James St at her local haunts.


See Julia’s haunts here: bassike, FINEPRINTCO, Jardan, Lee Mathews, Lobby Bar, St. Agni.


Levi Birks

Graduate Architect + DJ

1. “Siri, who is Levi Birks”

2. “Levi Birks is a local James St legend”

You may not know his name, but if you’ve spent any time in James St and at The Calile, you will have unknowingly heard a little Levi. By day, Levi is an Architectural Graduate at none other than Richards & Spence – the architectural studio behind The Calile – and by night he moonlights as a DJ. Levi is also the in-house music selector and advisor for The Calile – combining architecture with music in one engaging mashup.  So, next time you’re in Lobby Bar tapping your toes to a tune over an Americano, thank Levi. Levi is an equal mix of work and play, so he took us on a whirlwind tour of his preferred James St joints.


Levi’s hangs here: The Calile, Bar Tano, Venroy, sAme sAme, Twin Palms Barbershop.

Posted on

March 18, 2022