One of the most amazing things the internet has changed is small business. There are obvious benefits for customers to have new ways of interacting with brands and companies, but what impresses me more are the types of small businesses that can exist because of the internet, and the way these internet based businesses can collaborate without the need of giant corporations or big name players.
The perfect example of this is The Motley. Matt Ruggieri had a realization many of us have at some point: the cheapo grooming products available for men in stores weren't cutting it, and there seemed to be a crazy amount of premium brands with no sense of what worked and what was worth it. Much like scotch or a suit, many guys don't mind paying more for a face wash or shaving cream if they can trust it will meet their needs. The problem is dropping $20 on a face wash only to find out it doesn't work any better than Neutrogena is quite the gamble.
His solution was a business that could only exist in the Internet Age: a men's grooming site that tests every single one of the lotions, washes, and shaving creams it offers, while providing expert grooming advice on skincare based on real-world experience.
The secret to The Motley is the curated approach: unlike a site like drugstore.com that is just a retailer of products, The Motley puts every product to the test, most for multiple weeks, before deciding to sell it on the site or scrap it. What remains is a small, but effective, list of products that work as advertised. They incorporate what they've learned in their Magazine and do incredible profiles like their Men of Distinction video series.
But the truly fantastic thing about the internet and small business is that previously The Motley would have had to get in a national publication like GQ, unrealistic because advertising can cost more than the average man's yearly salary.
On the other end is Primer–another small business that could only exist with the internet. WIthout a large sales team I can't compete with the corporate-backed men's magazines in wrangling large brands for advertising. If we were in the print world, Primer wouldn't stand a chance. But on the internet small businesses can work together in a way they never could before. I want genuine brands that can help our readers to advertise on Primer, and Matt wants to get The Motley's awesomely curated products in front of a bunch of guys who would be interested in them.
Matt founded The Motley along with his sister Madison, and are now a small crew of 4, including Ali, a high school friend who handles finances and their friend Judy who does a bit of everything. They're dedicated to customer service and when you place your order, you'll know one of them will be packaging your new products. How cool is that?
I am so grateful that The Motley and Primer could collaborate this month, a sincere thank you to the fine folks at The Motley for doing what they do.
I'm happy to share a 10% off your first order code, exclusively for Primer readers. Just use the code “PRIMER” at checkout. AND just in time for their summer sale starting 5/27.
Now, what to use it on?
$12 Test Run
One of the coolest things I love about The Motley is their $12 “Test Run”. It's a hassle free introduction to fine grooming products, allowing you to try five of their favorites. And it comes with free shipping. Give it a look.
Chiefs Energizing Face Wash
A combination of ginseng and peppermint to wake up your skin (and you, you groggy drunk) while eucalyptus cleans and prevents breakouts with its antiseptic properties. All natural and no parabens. Check out Chiefs on The Motley, $17.
Raw Materials Extreme Shave Cream
If you find that traditional shaving creams irritate your skin or don't provide you with a smooth shave, check out Extreme Shave Cream from Raw Materials. This is a true cream, not an aerosolized lather. It's 100% natural and is scent, fragrance, and menthol free to keep your skin and whiskers happy. Pick it up for $20.
Evolution Man Moisture Protect SPF 20
The problem with moisturizers, especially ones with sunblock, is they leave your skin with a greasy shine. Check out the lightweight option from Evolution Man that offers a matte finish with 20 SPF. $20 at The Motley.