Please give us a brief introduction of yourself Gabrielle?
I am the Founder and CEO of ACTIVIST. ACTIVIST is a Mānuka Honey company I founded with my husband Luke, almost four years ago. We specialize in The Ultimate topical and ingestible Mānuka products for beauty, wellbeing and immune support. You can find our offerings at the best clean beauty, lifestyle+department stores and organic grocers, juice bars and cafes across the globe. Prior to starting ACTIVIST I lived in New York City and worked as an Art Director at Harper’s Bazaar and then VOGUE magazine. These learnings as well as my childhood in nature, growing up in Aotearoa, New Zealand have shaped my company and the woman I am today. I was born on an avocado farm in New Zealand and spent my upbringing swimming in the salty waters of the Pacific, hiking in the dense green native New Zealand bush with my family, and eating fresh abundant produce and Mānuka Honey from the local land. I have lived in Auckland, Sydney, NYC and now our home is Topanga Canyon, nestled into the Santa Monica mountains in Los Angeles, looking over the Pacific, facing west back to New Zealand. I am eternally blessed to be the mother of two small children Cisco River and Tallulah Blue, who inspire me everyday to be a better person. ACTIVIST is my third baby and receives almost as much love as the other two.
How do you plan to fulfill your creative desires in 2022?
I have just returned home from four weeks in the Motherland of New Zealand. It was a great trip for ACTIVIST with some exciting new projects and products in the works. Most of my inspiration comes from the land and sea; native trees, the leaves, the fish, flowers and the transition of seasons, along with shades from my vintage thrift finds. Travel always inspires, so hopefully another little trip this summer with our children and camping up the coast in Big Sur will fulfil some creative desires. Coming home always inspires my creative endeavours too; we have a large old property up high in Topanga Canyon, which is a constant project; right now we are working on our vegetable garden for summer and renovating our kitchen, where many future Activist recipes will come to life.
Current favourite artist?
Ralph Hotere, one of New Zealand’s most important artists, has always been a favourite of mine. My boy Cisco and I also love Jean-Michel Basquiat. We have many children’s books on the story of Basquiat, which he loves reading and looking at the expressive colours and the marriage of poetry, text and imagery. Life Doesn't Frighten Me by Maya Angelou and paintings by Jean-Michel is his favourite book which Luke and I bought him as a toddler when he was in the hospital for two months.
Architecture inspiration right now?
Every time I return from New Zealand I fall more in love with New Zealand coastal homes, and contemporary cabins which seem to effortlessly nestle into the surrounding landscape, forest and sand dunes. My favourite kiwi architects mine are Nat Cheshire, Herbst Architects and Fearon Hay.
Favourite sound currently?
I always seem to revert back to music my dad plays now and when we were growing up as kids. He has an amazing jazz record collection (which he has passed on to me), from his teenage years of visiting underground jazz clubs in Manhattan. My favourites include Alice Coltrane, Miles Davis, Mulatu Astatke, Pharoah Sanders and LOVE.