Subscriptions and Orders $40+ Ship Free |
30 Day Money-Back Guarantee

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Eva Simmons-O’Brien

Dr. Eva Simmons O’Brien received her MD from Yale University and is a board-certified dermatologist. With over 30 years of experience, she has worked for hospitals, established her own private practice, and consulted for organizations such as the FDA. Today, Dr. Eva runs her own practice in addition to serving as our Chief Science Officer.

Founder Series Part 1: Starting Up & Redefining Skincare for Men

Founder Series Part 1: Starting Up & Redefining Skincare for Men

Founder Series Part 1: Starting Up & Redefining Skincare for Men

 

by

I sat down with our founder, Ben, to discuss how he laid the bricks for Disco. In 2018, Disco was just an idea, which Ben ran with and ended up building from the ground up. This was before any of our current team of 7 people was hired, before the Forbes articles, before our new product launches, and before all of the memes that our community loves so dearly. It was just Ben.

Ben’s experience prior to launching Disco included a spectrum of entrepreneurial pursuits, including owning and managing gyms, occasionally writing small angel investing checks, as well as scaling a Texas-based tech startup through unconventional marketing.

When I sat down with Ben to break down all of the building blocks of launching his DTC business, we realized that we would need a lot more time, and a lot more space to adequately tell this story. 

The Founder Series will investigate the story of Ben’s process and journey of building Disco, a science-backed skincare brand for men. In Part 1, we’ll explore the initial challenges of creating something from nothing, finding product-market fit, and honing in on your personal values, expertise, and passions to create a true value proposition for consumers. Who knows...we might even let you in on some of Disco’s biggest untold secrets, divulge a bit about Austin’s nightlife which truly birthed the brand of Disco, and dig into the technical side of product development. Or, we might interview your favorite DTC brand next! 

Q: Why skincare? What makes you passionate about health & wellness, self-care, and personal development, and how does this connect to skincare?

My passion for health and wellness spawned from my high school days. At that time, I was training both Krav Maga and CrossFit. These fitness modalities fostered my interest in taking care of myself. Now, I regularly exercise, meditate, go on long walks, practice yoga, try various sleep hacks, participate in breathwork, sauna, and use a host of other anti-aging techniques. All of these techniques work together in unison together to contribute to my health. Skincare plays a critical role in my broader personal care routine, and showed up even earlier than my interest in fitness thanks to a family friend, Dr. Eva Simmons-O’Brien. Dr. Eva is a world-renowned dermatologist and Disco’s Medical Advisor. From a very early age, Dr. Eva drilled into me the importance of taking care of my skin, and the ritual has been with me ever since.

Q: What drew you to Austin?

After graduation from University, I was deciding between New York City, Miami, and Los Angeles. Many of my college buddies moved to New York City, Miami was a bit too distracting, and LA seemed quite far. So after doing some cursory internet research, I landed on moving to Austin. I moved to Austin in the spring of 2015 without knowing a single person and never having visited. It was the best decision I’ve ever made.

Q: What is truly the first step in starting up? Was it a phone call, a conversation with a friend, an accidental product made in your own bathroom? 

In Disco’s case, I actually brought in a friend for a period of time as a co-founder. Together we worked on the concept and initial fundraising for a few months. Ultimately, he stepped aside to focus on his lucrative investing career, but having someone to hold me accountable in the earliest stages of the business was paramount to pushing forward. Once we got the first investor dollars in November of 2018, the idea became “real” and momentum started to build.

Q: How did your professional AND personal relationships aid you in starting up Disco? 

I’ve always taken care to meet and foster relationships with many people. When it came time to build Disco, much of the effort I invested over the years in building my network paid off. I leaned heavily on both connections from my days at college and the nucleus of people I ran around with in Austin. For anyone reading this thinking about starting any company, your brain trust of smart people around you can make or break whether or not you succeed with your business.

Q: Talk us through your process from ideation to execution of launching the website, developing and manufacturing the products, and launching the brand publicly?

The original thesis was to create a men's skincare brand that didn’t fall victim to traditional masculinity tropes: black packaging, unnecessarily dark branding, bro-sounding messaging and social profiles etc. To bring my vision to fruition, I worked closely with a top branding agency in Brooklyn called High Tide Disco. Together, we spent 9 months from January of 2019 until our launch in October of 2019 coming up with the name, devising our brand identity, choosing color systems, and designing and building our website. In parallel to the branding efforts, I developed all 7 of our launch products. I was fortunate enough to meet the team at Anvyl in early January of 2019, and they helped us build out our supply chain. In formulating the products, each product was different, but on average, each took no less than 10 iterations/versions to finalize what we launched with.

Q: How long did you expect to run Disco on your own before considering taking on a bigger team to scale the brand?

I knew that we needed to get to a certain scale before I could justify the financial burden of hiring out the team. This might be contrary to traditional advice, but we simply couldn’t afford to pull in a top-notch team until Q3 of this year (2021), so our financial position dictated our hiring cadence.

Q: What does the brand experience communicate? 

From the outset, I knew I wanted to create a brand that was fun, tongue & cheek, and educational. I wanted men to feel sophisticated when they use our products. In a way, I almost felt like we should allow men to show off that they are in the “know” about men’s skincare products by having Disco products showcased on their bathroom counter. Simultaneously, I aimed for guys to feel like they are truly improving their skin when using Disco products regularly. If a customer engages with us on social media, they should be a part of a brand ecosystem that doesn’t take itself too seriously, but at the same time, provides real value in the form of educational and fun content.

Q: What was the first product that was important for you to develop?

Our Cleanser Stick. It was a bit of a risky move pursuing a product form factor that is totally untraditional, but the moment I knew we could package our cleanser in a stick form, I was sold. Given how important cleansing is in a broader skincare regimen, it was critical we got this product right, especially with the unique stick format. Fortunately, this thinking has worked out well, seeing as our Cleanser Stick is one of our best-selling and highest-reviewed products.

 

Invigorating Body Wash
Rated 4.9 out of 5
Based on 21 reviews

10.1 oz | 2 Month Supply | Made in Made in USA Flag Icon

Smell good. Look good. Feel good. Kick off this magical self-confidence combination with a soothing hot shower. Formulated with all-natural ingredients like restorative Aloe and Papaya, soothing Horsetail, and anti-oxidant Chamomile, the Disco Body Wash will have you feeling so fresh and so clean (clean.)
----- Hydrating and refreshing spa-scented, luxurious body wash. It's time to upgrade from your middle school bar of soap.

Select your plan

  • $20.00
  • $36.00 save 10% most popular
  • $51.00 save 15%
30-Day Money Back | Ships Free Over $40 | 100% Secure Checkout
Natural Deodorant
Rated 4.9 out of 5
Based on 18 reviews

2.6 oz | 2 Month Supply | Made in Made in USA Flag Icon

Damn, you smell good. Reserve a spot on the bathroom shelf and gym bag for this aluminum-free, all-natural, highly-effective stank-fightin' deodorant—your skin and shirts will thank you. Best of all, it's aluminum-free and all-natural, with simple ingredients like odor-neutralizing Eucalyptus, antibacterial Tea Tree Oil, and moisturizing Aloe.

----- Aluminum-free deodorant that fights off BO and odor using a powerful trio of all-natural ingredients.

Select your plan

  • $12.00
  • $21.60 save 10% most popular
  • $30.60 save 15%
30-Day Money Back | Ships Free Over $40 | 100% Secure Checkout
Charcoal Face Cleanser Stick
Rated 5.0 out of 5
Based on 52 reviews

2.1 oz | 2 Month Supply | Made in Made in USA Flag Icon

Cleanse your face of the day’s muck with a powerful combination of moisturizing coconut oil, exfoliating Phytic Acid, and detoxifying charcoal. Simple is sexy: our unique Face Cleanser Stick cleans deep beneath the surface and nourishes your skin at the flick of the wrist.
----- Rids your face of dirt, toxins, and excess oil. Also makes for a great post-workout companion.

Select your plan

  • $16.00
  • $28.80 save 10% most popular
  • $40.80 save 15%
30-Day Money Back | Ships Free Over $40 | 100% Secure Checkout
Exfoliating Face Scrub
Rated 4.9 out of 5
Based on 13 reviews

2.0 oz | 2 Month Supply | Made in Made in USA Flag Icon

Feel the soothing blend of aloe, apricot, chamomile, and papaya on your face while you clean daily muck build-up. Detoxify your complexion and promote the growth of robust skin with this gentle anti-inflammatory exfoliant by sloughing away dead skin cells.
----- Exfoliates your face of dead skin cells and fights in grown hairs and razor burns.

Select your plan

  • $22.00
  • $39.60 save 10% most popular
  • $56.10 save 15%
30-Day Money Back | Ships Free Over $40 | 100% Secure Checkout
Hydrating Face Moisturizer
Rated 5.0 out of 5
Based on 21 reviews

2.0 oz | 2 Month Supply | Made in Made in USA Flag Icon

Skincare is selfcare. Hydrate and lock in moisture with nourishing Vitamin E. Brighten up your complexion with antioxidant-rich Vitamin C. Keep your youthful charm with wrinkle-fighting Macadamia Oil. Future you will thank you for using this lightweight anti-aging Face Moisturizer.
----- Hydrates your money maker and keeps you looking young later in life. Moisturizing is important, guys.

Select your plan

  • $24.00
  • $43.20 save 10% most popular
  • $61.20 save 15%
30-Day Money Back | Ships Free Over $40 | 100% Secure Checkout
Repairing Eye Stick
Rated 4.9 out of 5
Based on 160 reviews

0.4 oz | 2 Month Supply | Made in Made in USA Flag Icon

Bye-bye dark circles and puffy eye bags. If the eyes are the window to the soul, you gotta take care of your window frames. Use this powerhouse blend of depuffing caffeine, anti-oxidant brightening Pycnogenol, and anti-aging Niacinamide to combat fine lines, wrinkles, and crow's feet.
----- Our best-selling Repairing Eye Sticks fights dark circles and puffy under eye bags. We hear it also feels good to apply when you’re under the influence. Just a rumor though.

Select your plan

  • $32.00
  • $57.60 save 10% most popular
  • $81.60 save 15%
30-Day Money Back | Ships Free Over $40 | 100% Secure Checkout
Rejuvenating Face Mask
Rated 5.0 out of 5
Based on 16 reviews

3.5 oz | 2 Month Supply | Made in Made in USA Flag Icon

The verdict is in: skincare is sexy. The Disco Face Mask is the MVP for healthier skin and is carefully formulated with organic, earthy ingredients like restorative mineral-rich Bentonite Clay, detoxifying and impurity-busting Charcoal, and soothing Willow Bark Extract. Put your best face forward, one face mask at a time.
----- Powerful mixture of acne and inflammation fighting ingredients. Did we mention it's also incredibly relaxing? Treat yo self.

Select your plan

  • $34.00
  • $61.20 save 10% most popular
  • $86.70 save 15%
30-Day Money Back | Ships Free Over $40 | 100% Secure Checkout
Basics Set
Rated 4.8 out of 5
Based on 8 reviews

0.0 oz | 2 Month Supply | Made in Made in USA Flag Icon

This Moisturizer-Face Cleanser Stick-Body Wash Deodorant cleansing set is the formula for full-body wellness and a top-to-bottom clean. A balancing blend of essentials, this combo of must-haves keeps you cleansed, moisturized, refreshed, and smelling your best.

Select your plan

30-Day Money Back | Ships Free Over $40 | 100% Secure Checkout
Starter Set
Rated 4.9 out of 5
Based on 24 reviews

0.0 oz | 2 Month Supply | Made in Made in USA Flag Icon

This mix of complexion-boosting must-haves is the foundation for a skincare routine that always reaches max potential. A Face Cleanser Stick-Face Scrub-Face Moisturizer combo cleanses, exfoliates, and moisturizes for your most well-rounded cleansing rituals to date.

Select your plan

30-Day Money Back | Ships Free Over $40 | 100% Secure Checkout
Anti-Aging Set
Rated 4.7 out of 5
Based on 15 reviews

0.0 oz | 2 Month Supply | Made in Made in USA Flag Icon

This purifying and illuminating Anti-Aging Set enhances your skincare routine with a boost of brightening essentials. Specially formulated to exfoliate and fight wrinkles, the Face Mask-Eye Stick combo is the natural, paraben-free answer to better brighter, younger-looking skin.

Select your plan

30-Day Money Back | Ships Free Over $40 | 100% Secure Checkout
Regimen Set
Rated 4.9 out of 5
Based on 26 reviews

0.0 oz | 2 Month Supply | Made in Made in USA Flag Icon

This full-fledged Regimen Set is the complete picture: a Face Cleanser Stick-Face Scrub-Face Mask-Face Moisturizer-Eye Stick mix made to up the ante on your skincare rituals. Discover a deeper clean with toxin-fighting exfoliation, complexion-purifying masking, and moisture-rich eye and complexion rejuvenation.

Select your plan

30-Day Money Back | Ships Free Over $40 | 100% Secure Checkout
Body Set
Rated 5.0 out of 5
Based on 7 reviews

0.0 oz | 2 Month Supply | Made in Made in USA Flag Icon

This Body Set is just what you need to feel--and smell--your most clean. Unlock your full-body refresh with the all-natural, paraben-free Body Wash-Deodorant combo that takes cleansing and purifying to another level of fresh.

Select your plan

30-Day Money Back | Ships Free Over $40 | 100% Secure Checkout
Vice Bundle

0.0 oz | 2 Month Supply | Made in Made in USA Flag Icon

This mix of complexion-boosting must-haves is the foundation for a skincare routine that always reaches max potential. A Face Cleanser Stick-Face Scrub-Face Moisturizer combo cleanses, exfoliates, and moisturizes for your most well-rounded cleansing rituals to date.

Select your plan

30-Day Money Back | Ships Free Over $40 | 100% Secure Checkout
Body Wash Quad Bundle

10.1 oz | 2 Month Supply | Made in Made in USA Flag Icon

Smell good. Look good. Feel good. Kick off this magical self-confidence combination with a soothing hot shower. Formulated with all-natural ingredients like restorative Aloe and Papaya, soothing Horsetail, and anti-oxidant Chamomile, the Disco Body Wash will have you feeling so fresh and so clean (clean.)
----- Hydrating and refreshing spa-scented, luxurious body wash. It's time to upgrade from your middle school bar of soap.
$60.00
  • $60.00
  • $108.00 save 10% most popular
  • $153.00 save 15%
30-Day Money Back | Ships Free Over $40 | 100% Secure Checkout
Anti-Fatigue Set

0.0 oz | 2 Month Supply | Made in Made in USA Flag Icon

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.

Select your plan

30-Day Money Back | Ships Free Over $40 | 100% Secure Checkout

Recent Articles

What Is Skin Purging

You’ve got bumps all over your face and can’t seem to figure out why. It could be skin purging. Learn what it is and how to deal with it.

What Is My Skin Type

There are five different types of skin, and yours fits into one of them. Figure out which one and how to take care of it properly.

Something went wrong, please contact us!

Your Cart

Subtotal: