C California Style

The Sweetest Thing

by C California Style

A Family-Run Honey Brand With Purpose

Luke Harwood, Gabrielle Mirkin and their son, Cisco, at home in Topanga. Photography by Derek Henderson.

It was during a 2014 hiatus in their native New Zealand that Gabrielle Mirkin and Luke Harwood came up with the idea to start their manuka honey brand, Activist. They were recharging, following a hectic stint in Manhattan (where Mirkin worked as a senior designer at Vogue and Harwood ran an independent fashion label), when their beekeeper friends asked to keep hives on the couple’s land. “We began to understand the bees’ key role as environmental indicators,” says Harwood. “It gave us a vision for a business in tune with our lifestyle.” After moving to Topanga Canyon in 2015, the husband-and-wife team saw an opportunity to bring the ingredient—renowned for its antibacterial properties—to an audience voracious for all things wellness. “It’s a transparent, natural product that people will want to integrate into their daily rituals,” says Mirkin, who is also a contributing designer at C. Launched in May, the label is named not only for the resource’s “activating” properties, but also as “a tribute to people who believe in what they do,” says Mirkin. Available at c-stateofmind.com and Cap Beauty, 8500 Sunset Blvd., W.H., 310-432-0565;  activistmanuka.com.