Hollie makes her jewellery from the land, by the land. Here’s why.

Photography, handmade jewellery and special items made from the land, by the land, is what our cover girl, by Miss Hollie J (by MHJ), is all about. 

Hollie Johnson is well loved in the community and is a proud Gunaikurnai and Monero Ngarigo woman. Her family are respected by their First Nations artwork, which has been showcased at many art galleries across Gippsland. 

Hollie Johnson, owner of by MHJ, at Moe Art Mural 2024. Source: Latrobe City Council

For Hollie – who has her own style in her own right – has worked to start up her own small business for several years now. And it’s everything that Hollie herself encompasses as a person, as well as her love for land and the songs of ancestors past and present. 

But how did her business ‘by MHJ’ begin? Hollie takes us back to the beginning.  

“I would say for the love of art,” Hollie said. “I wanted to learn and practice different art forms. Photography was my first passion; that’s where it started, at Year 7 camp in Wilson’s Prom. Being from a family of artists, I knew photography would kick start it all,” Hollie mused. 

Hollie sells her items – including her photography of GunaiKurnai land and special landmarks visited – at marketplaces across Gippsland and Melbourne. Many Melbourne markets run through the Koorie Heritage Trust, which is an Aboriginal owned and managed non-for-profit organisation based in Melbourne. 

Although if you ask Hollie, the Boolarra Folk Festival is one of her favourite market days. “I have sweet childhood memories of that festival, singing with the band and coming with family even now being a young woman,” Hollie said.  

“Boolarra Folk Festival 2024 was my first market since before COVID-19 in Latrobe City. It was a very community-orientated event with a lot of support from both local and city people. I set up my market stall and it was a lovely day with good weather.” 

What does Hollie do while setting up her market stalls? Well, she also makes her jewellery on the spot – which includes using ghost gum and native flora and fauna from her homeland! 

“I’m an innovative person and a creative,” Hollie said. “I incorporate native or natural ways of displaying my work. It’s very much connecting with my home on Gunaikurnai land. I end up barefoot most times because it connects me to home and my grandparent’s country.” 

To order her jewellery, message Hollie on Instagram here: @by_mhj 

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Hollie makes her jewellery from the land, by the land. Here’s why.

Photography, handmade jewellery and special items made from the land, by the land, is what our cover girl, by Miss Hollie J (by MHJ), is all about.