Beauty Diary: $20 Disco Stick ‘sold out’ after Chemist Warehouse launch

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It’s one of the most popular hairstyles of recent times, but achieving a slicked-back look can often be difficult, not to mention time-consuming.

As anyone who has ever tried to nail the distinct, smooth finish can attest, it’s tricky to tame those unruly flyaways.

And while there are countless haircare products on the market designed to hold hair in place, they’re often heavy on our tresses, or set with that dreaded crunch.

Desperate to find something to solve this issue, Sydney-based best mates Grace Garrick and Adelle Beckwith eventually stumbled across a wax stick in the US that was trending on TikTok.

$20 Aussie product that’s ‘impossible’ to find

When the pair discovered it was “sold out everywhere” – and also not available to purchase in Australia – they decided to make their own. The resulting product is now one of the biggest sellers in Chemist Warehouse stores across the country.

“We were on a mission to find this elusive wax stick, but as fate would have it, it was as scarce as toilet paper in lockdown,” Ms Garrick told news.com.au’s The Beauty Diary.

“So, over a few Aperol Spritzes, we had an ‘Ah-Hah’ moment, and so, the bright orange Aperol-inspired Disco Stick was born.”

The product, sold exclusively at the pharmacy chain, retails for just $20 and has been an “instant success”, with shoppers reporting on social media the item is, at times, “impossible to find”.

“Chemist Warehouse has been a game-changer for our business. It is a remarkable retailer and it has offered what we were lacking: bricks and mortar,” Ms Garrick explained.

“We believe our product is an impulse or instant purchase. People see it on TikTok or Instagram, question the name and see the bright orange colour, and want it immediately. “Chemist Warehouse allows us to reach our customers nationwide so we can provide them with exactly that.”

Disco Stick’s success wasn’t down to dumb luck – Ms Garrick and Ms Beckwith decided to “test the market” and drum up “demand” before securing a stockist.

“We did it all on TikTok; we watched, we read every single comment and we listened. Then we launched,” Ms Garrick, who also runs her own publicity agency in Sydney, explained.

“TikTok is the best circular communication touchpoint a brand could ever dream of. Everyone is so honest – at times brutally honest – but at least they’re honest.

“And so this is why we communicate to our customers without being overly advertorial, we talk as if we are FaceTiming them, and built a community.

“But we’re also affordable, easy-to-use and still look premium. That’s why we believe it has done so well.”

Indeed, with the slicked-back hair trend beloved by Aussie celebrities like Abbie Chatfield and Jasmine Stefanovic going nowhere, customers have done the talking with their wallets.

Social media has also been awash with photos of empty shelves, alongside rave reviews from fans of the affordable beauty product.

“This is so good,” one said on TikTok, while another declared: “I’ve not found anything better at holding my flyaways in place.”

“I’ve been to three stores and can’t find Disco Stick anywhere,” another shared.

As one raved: “Disco Stick is the only product I’ll use for a sleek bun now, it washes out so easily and leaves my hair super soft after.”

Since launching the wax hair stick, the pair have gone on to launch a rosemary hair oil – aptly named Disco Juice – after once again spotting the product trending on TikTok overseas.

Rosemary oil is believed to encourage hair growth and slow hair loss. While early research into its efficiency is promising, it’s still in its infancy – though this has done little to quell demand.

“We saw a rosemary hair oil trend happening all over TikTok which had people literally cooking rosemary pricks in oil and water, which is very dangerous,” Ms Garrick said.

“We thought, ‘You know what? Rather than having everyone make their own we will meet the demand’ and created our hydrating rosemary and biotin hair oil.”

Meeting demand has been a challenge for the women, who both have full-time careers, and run their hair brand as a “cheeky side-hustle”.

“Having both worked in service-driven industries, which is great for the branding and communication side, we have found the other elements of running a business eye-opening,” Ms Garrick said.

“Supply chain, insurance, testing, product sampling, timelines … distribution … the list goes on. We had no idea about any of it.

“We are learning everyday as we go and are still trying to nail it. Stock and demand issues are something we are grappling with but hey, it’s a champagne problem, a good problem to have.”

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