Goulet Q&A Episode 8, Inside the Goulet Minds

This week’s Goulet Q&A episode is Inside the Goulet Minds, where we took questions about how we started our company, and why we do things the way we do them. We didn’t get a lot of questions, but that’s quite alright because the ones we did get were really, really good! And we’re a bit long-winded anyway so we had no problem filling the time and then some.

If you’ve ever been curious about how we came about, or if you miss the dynamic that Rachel and I had during our live Write Time broadcasts (now canceled), then you will love this video. Here are this week’s questions:

1) Rori Rants- email (3:38):
Did Goulet Pens evolve organically from your hobby of turning pens? Or did you and Rachel sit down and create a vision for what you wanted a business to become from the beginning? Did you do work on what you really wanted to do with your lives? Or is Goulet Pens one of those things where opportunity met need and it just “happened”.

2) Jessica B.- email (17:14):
Since you are a literal Mom and Pop business, where did you guys meet? You guys have shared a lot of back-story but I don’t recall that being addressed. 

3) jordanjay29- Ink Nouveau (25:33):
How do you balance being a parent with being a business owner, and what role, if any, do your kids play in your day-to-day lives at work?

4) Susan_T_meowmda- Ink Nouveau (30:55):
On hindsight, what one thing would you do differently if you were starting your business now?

5) David B.- Facebook (34:52):
Can you share your thoughts on why you do not have (or want) a brick-and-mortar retail store (internet only). 

6) Paul Yeoman- YouTube (43:29):
In the early days of Goulet Pens, did you have a mentor or a business coach? If so, what did he she help you with? If not, how did you learn how to build such a successful business on your own?

  • Books, Gary V., Andy Sernovitz, Seth Godin, Malcolm Gladwell, Dave Ramsey, Zig Ziglar, Earl Nightingale, Dale Carnegie, Jim Collins, Clay Christiansen, Simon Sinek, Gary Erickson

Thanks to all of you who asked us questions. The battery died on the camera before we were able to really wrap up, so I will let you know here that next week’s Q&A theme will be “Notebooks and Paper”. Whatever questions you have about paper for your fountain pens, I will do my best to answer them. Be sure to check out older Q&A videos here, too. 

Paper is a deep, deep rabbit hole, but I will do my best! Just post your questions for next week in the comments below, or you can send an email to GouletQA@gouletpens.com, which is a new email that we’ve set up specifically for receiving Goulet Q&A questions.

Write On,
Brian Goulet

2017-10-11T14:04:52+00:00 October 11th, 2013|Goulet Q&A|25 Comments
  • ★ keri ★

    Notebooks & paper Q: I am ready to jump on a plane to visit the Rhodia headquarters and beg for top-spiral dotpads in person (except I could probably buy a few coveted, spendy pens for the price of a plane ticket). Have you heard anything about production starting on them again? Or do you have any suggestions for an alternative, if not dot grid?

    The regular grid is kind of depressing, though I'm making do, and notebooks that don't let me use both sides of the page aren't suitable for my needs (as with the regular dotpads, which don't fold back flat, so you have to tear off the page to use the reverse side).

    Side note: someone has suggested looking at the Creatives Outfitter site, but the Behance notebooks are limited edition and I don't trust the Circa ones to survive my bag.

  • ★ keri ★

    You wouldn't have or be able to include in the next Q&A video a side-by-side comparison of the Rhodia and Clairefontaine grid paper, would you? It looks like Clairefontaine is a bit lighter, which is desirable since the Rhodia's lines often feel too heavy/dark, but I haven't been able to find a comparison photo with my googling this afternoon.

  • Sam

    Have you considered selling Black n' Red notebooks? I find them good for writing with a fountain pen.

  • David

    Brian, cannot wait for my order to hit my mailbox with the FB5000 Noodlers and my new blue Lamy Al-star. Are you going to "reveal" what color I am going to ink up? Good marketing…was waiting to order until the FB offer came out…well done my friend well done!

  • musicmaven

    Do you know if Quo Vadis is even thinking about bringing back the white lined paper (even as an option to ivory) in the Habana?

  • Blue Moon

    Great video! Thanks for sharing your history. Do you think sometime you could take us on a tour of your building? I'd love to see the thousands? hundreds? of pens, inks, and paper products. I'd also like to see the outside. The place where it all happens.

  • Ted

    Do either you or Rachel like to use laid paper? And if so, what nib(s) do you like to use on it? I prefer my Nemosine and Goulet 1.1 stubs on it, but I do have to use an ink with good flow to keep it from looking like skipping (in my experience).

  • Aditya

    Does the Pilot Con-50 Converter fit the Pilot Metropolitan??

  • snedwos

    Whitelines link? Is it or is it not the coolest concept ever?

  • Two Cents

    All of your business inspirations are men. Makes me wonder about the culture of your company and your own willingness to try something new, to enter a zone of discomfort. Also most of these mentors are motivators, not visionaries. Iin other words, they are with maybe one or two exceptions mental flatliners. Gives me chills when I think of placing an order with a company that feeds itself on such biased, narrow minded messaging.

  • I'm sorry it appears that way, the gender of the authors I've read haven't been a consideration in my choosing to read them. I am very open to any suggestions from any authors you have read that you think are inspiring.

  • I have used them and been pretty impressed, but they're pretty widely available at places like Walmart and Office Max, so a boutique store like ours wouldn't be able to carry them as successfully competing with the big stores.

  • I'm glad you like it! Thanks for supporting my company…I'm going to make you wait to get it to see what ink you're getting 🙂

  • I did post the authors under the question above, some of the books I've been reading lately include Gary Erickson's Raising the Bar, Dave Ramsey EntreLeadership and Complete Guide to Money, Simon Sinek Start with Why, Michael Berger E-Myth Revisited, and Zig Ziglar's Born to Win. I have some others on my list to read next, like Strength Finders 2.0 and Malcolm Gladwell's David and Goliath.

  • I wouldn't hold my breath. It was a decision made against popular decision several years ago, and there are no signs of it changing back. I miss it.

  • That's in the works, but wasn't something we could cover in this video.

  • I do use it from time to time, but not often. I like the feel of it in the hand, but not on my nib. So I did it when I write 'fancy' letters : )

  • Yup! So does the Con-20.

  • I honestly haven't used it, but I've heard good things

  • David Jackson

    Hi guys. Great video! You exemplify an axiom that I've seen many times, and I think first from Peter Drucker, "Culture trumps Strategy". Maybe you came on it innately; you said it in the video, the business plan didn't last long, you just kept moving. You led with your heart. You have created a great culture right down to the personal notes and Tootsie Pops in the package you ship. When the economy and markets shift, a company with a great culture will have people invested in making the company work.
    I send a strong recommendation for the book "Human Sigma" by John Fleming and Jim Asplund out of Gallup Press. When you read through it you'll understand it when I say I can't imagine a world without Goulet Pen Co.

  • Joe

    A factory tour would be great!

    Especially a demo from your package wrapping guy!!!

  • Aditya

    Con-20?? It comes with the pen. Do you mean Con-70 too fits the pen?

  • Rebekah Hoyt

    Minute 18 – I think it's 12 from each voice part 🙂

  • Rebekah Hoyt

    WOW this video was a trip down memory lane for me! Not only hearing about how you guys met again (and living all of that as a 14-year old) but remembering the early days of the business, the shelves of stock you had in your dining room while Joseph was a newborn and the Access Clubbing days. Plus, not to mention, the first "product" photography I did, how that opened the doors for so many ideas and just seeing how far you've come. I'm such a sap but I always love remembering those days! 🙂

  • puttsterforpar

    love how you guys finish each other's sentences/thoughts! So endearing! Great work, Goulets!