EPIC Goulet Announcement

Well, we’ve kept it secret long enough, and we finally need to let the cat out of the bag. Here it is, announcing one of the biggest projects we’ve every undertaken at GouletPens.com, with over a year and a half in the works. And we’ve kept it completely secret until now. EPIC.

We’re completely rebuilding GouletPens.com from the ground up.

Our current site is great and we’re very happy with it, for the most part. However, we had the opportunity to be an early adopter on a brand new enterprise-level e-commerce platform that will give us the foundation for building all kinds of things for the future. We’ve been working on this for a long time, all on top of our normal business operations. It’s been a lot of work (especially from Rachel), and we’re just about there.

So what does this actually mean? Why rebuild the site?

Well, we certainly have a good thing going on our current site. However, there are some forward-thinking things we wanted to build and the infrastructure supporting our current Volusion store just won’t get us there. We’ve essentially outgrown the platform, and need to get on something more robust. Some of the features we plan to build will take a while to create, but we will have some nice features at launch.

What you’ll see on our new site at launch:

  • Robust faceted search/filter capabilities (this will be huge!)
  • More useful and detailed product review system
  • Responsive design – mobile/tablet-friendly!
  • Cleaner look/rebranding
  • Enhanced photography
  • Improved navigation
  • and more πŸ™‚ 

What this means for Ink Drop

The reason we’re choosing to announce this right now is because we are having to postpone Ink Drop for another month. For those of you that are Ink Drop members or have tried to join in the last month and a half, you know we took off October because we were going to ‘rebuild the architecture of the program’, which is entirely true. However, what we opted to keep secret was that it wasn’t just Ink Drop we were rebuilding, but rather our entire site.

We originally had a launch date for this past Wednesday to try to get Ink Drop up and going for November, but things just weren’t quite there and it was with a very heavy heart we had to decide to postpone the program until December. We know this is a disappointment to those of you who’ve been waiting patiently, and for that we apologize. We will make it up to you with something extra special in December’s Drop, we promise.


As an added bonus to thank you all for your patience with the Ink Drop delay, we’re putting all individual ink samples on sale – 20% off – until the end of November. No minimums.

We also have some other special deals in the works. Check back tomorrow and in the next week for some more announcements. We have all kinds of things up our sleeves. πŸ˜‰

When we’ll launch

At this time we’re hesitant to give an exact launch date because we’re still working with our developers to work out some kinks (or iron out some bugs, as Rachel says!). We want to make sure the site transition happens as seamlessly as possible, and want to take adequate time to train our team and get used to the new system. We have a certain standard for our customer service and how our site should operate, and we believe “it’s better to do it right than do it right now”. That said, we’re looking to launch this in the next couple of weeks, and we’ll do a follow-up announcement once we have the day and time selected.

Thanks so much for your fantastic support, and we’re honored to be able to offer you a better shopping and writing experience than we’ve ever been able to before. We’re incredibly excited for everything that we’ll be able to offer you with our new site, and we’re eager to get it off the ground.

We’d love to hear your thoughts! Please let us know what you think of our big announcement in the comments below.

Write On,
Brian and Rachel Goulet

2017-10-12T15:32:02+00:00 October 31st, 2014|A Goulet Life|66 Comments
  • Hey, Bernadette!

    So excited about this!! I'm sure this has been a ton of work for you all. I can't wait to check it out!
    Also, and hopefully without sounding creepy I gotta say – Brian, you're looking great! You two are the cutest and I wish you great success!

  • Giuseppe

    Sounds good guys. Here's hoping everything with the site goes smoothly!

  • Calvin Park

    I'm crazy excited for this. Can't wait! The new search stuff, in particular, sounds AH-MAZING.

  • Emma

    will you be doing an FPD special as well?

  • Looking forward to it!

  • I just bought so many ink samples XD time to buy some more! Congrats on the new site guys!!!

  • Twoznek

    Cool time to launch would be national fountain pen day, eh? Thanks for sharing!


  • jclarson

    Very exciting! Looking forward to see the results of all your hard work

  • Cathy Murphy

    And getting it up and running before the holiday shopping season is a good idea!

  • Jon

    What platform are you using for the new site?

  • Eva Yaa Asantewaa


  • β˜… keri β˜…

    Oh, wow!

    I just hope you'll still have the drill-down categories for paper and pens because right now, your sorting/search system is one of the BEST. I don't know how it's done, but it's pretty unique and I got so frustrated trying to buy notebooks over the summer.

  • β˜… keri β˜…

    but also I'm super excited! i got caught up with trick-or-treaters at work and forgot to finish my comment… I'm really looking forward to the new site and convincing more of my friends to shop with you.

  • Exciting! I know how much work doing a new site is – can't wait to see it.

    "Ironing out the bugs," is totally a thing πŸ˜‰ http://english.stackexchange.com/questions/35252/the-phrase-iron-out-bugs

  • Adrian Wadley

    Good luck with the new site launch. Have to say totally bummed out that Ink Drop isn't launching this week. Had that one on the calendar for today. πŸ™

    I'll just have to make do with a WS Parade in town this afternoon :). And continue writing with my Giants Orange October ink (formerly known as Diamine Pumpkin).

  • Patty McNally

    Not sure how you can improve perfection but wishing you great success! You are my favorite online retailers and I so appreciate your service.

  • YES!!! Thank you!!! πŸ˜€

  • Check back tomorrow for the first of several announcements. We also have the Inksamplepalooza that will run all month as well. πŸ˜‰

  • We are using Mozu. We're an early adopter, so one of the first to go live this year. It's been quite the wild ride!

  • Oh absolutely! We'll be expanding upon what we already have, for sure. I think the new system is even better!

  • I'm looking forward to the new site and to renewing my Ink Drop subscription. Best of luck with the re-do!

  • Anna

    I'm looking forward to seeing the new site! I like the current one, but I'm excited to see the improvements. I completely understand how much work this takes, as I work with web developers as part of my job, and we've always had to delay going live with things because of bugs and changes and enhancements. It's always worth it!

  • Congrats, guys! I love the site as it is, but I know you'll put together a killer new site. (I also know full well how much work it is. And the joy of the good, old-fashioned bug bash.) I can't wait to see what you've come up with.

  • Brian Cole

    What kind of watch you wearing there Brian?

  • DebS

    Awesome and no problem with me about postponing InkDrop (I still have lots of InkDrop samples to use!)

  • Suzy Lyons

    I love how excited you both seem to show off your hard work! πŸ™‚ Looking forward to renewing my Ink Drop subscription and browsing the new site!

  • David Murphy

    With all the thought you have put into your business and the service you provide to your customers I know that this is the right decision. I will not say the right time as there is never a "right" time just the time that it needs to get done. Personally I am very excited to see what your new site will bring to again raise the bar for other sites to attain.

    This must have been torture for you as you have been so transparent with your business practices to keep this under wraps until now. It is very ambitious to switch a commerce site just before the holidays, especially as most of my Santa List will be pointing to gouletpens.com. I will keep you, Rachel, and the rest of your team in my thoughts as you undertake this process.

    Thank you for sharing with all of us.

  • Scott Rogers

    Wow – good luck on the new site launch. I'm sure it's going to rock! I had assumed your big announcement for today was going to be availability of Neponset pens.

  • haha, I'm not creeped out πŸ™‚ Thanks for the compliment! Yeah, we're working our tails off, and it's soooo gonna be worth it. We're really excited for the new site.

  • Thanks! We'll be ready, soon.

  • Waski_the_Squirrel

    I think it will be a good thing. I really like the website the way it is, but it's important to keep improving.

    I'm hoping that you can consolidate reviews as well. For example, I haven't reviewed every color of Noodler's Konrad I ever bought, so it would make sense to put all those reviews together. (Just not for the ink colors the way another website does.)

  • oh yeah, it's gonna freaking rock!!!!!

  • Thanks! We're excited πŸ™‚

  • The plan is for everything to redirect to the new site. It's possible some things might break but we're doing our best to be proactive about it. πŸ™‚

  • Ideally for us, it wouldn't be on a Friday, but yeah that'd be a fun coincidence πŸ™‚

  • Thanks, it's going to all come together really soon.

  • That would be a good idea! We're pushing hard for that, but we want to get it done right.

  • hehe, thanks Keri πŸ™‚

  • Tom Johnson

    I have to say that the current web site is one of (if not THE) best & most useful I've ever seen. To think it may be better is mind-blowing. I'm excited for you guys, and looking forward to many years of Goulet Pens growing. I still don't see how Goulet Pens could be any better, you are the best retailer I've ever seen. Great video announcement, so much energy.

  • PenNewB

    While I'm excited to see the new website update, I'm also a bit nervous. I feel that this site is so well put together and has just the right amount of class. It is very easy to navigate and and everything looks very well put together and thought out. Each time I find myself browsing a competitors website I find myself thinking that they need to visit this site to see how a website SHOULD look. You have a fantastic site already, looking forward to see what you have come up with next!

  • David

    "enterprise-level e-commerce platform" = prettier look + search capabilities?
    This is one of those things that I think is big for you guys, but why would it be big"epic" for us?

  • Anonymous

    I'm new to the FP world and to goutletpens but have seen a number of sites transition from a classic layout to a more "mobile/tablet" friendly layout. The only thing I would say is don't sacrifice the desktop experience for the sake of the mobile/classic users.

  • Lisa Smith

    I thought I posted from my phone this morning but I guess not! As someone who used to dabble in web development and business ownership, this is so exciting for you guys!! Congrats!!! It's going to make things easier for us and you πŸ™‚ Can't wait until Ink Drop is back up. I just purchased like 15 ink samples – I think I'll have to place an order for some more!

  • Twoznek

    No doubt. Sad when pragmatics has to spoil fun, but that's part of life. There are other ways of celebrating FPD.

  • dothgrin

    This just means I will have to spend more in December…it will be part of a Merry Christmas!

  • Robert Barrett

    Well, how exciting. It is so odd, in a way, to have an entirely successful retail operation without a B n M store. Goulet Pens has shown to way it can and should be done. Congratulations.

    There is a "but."

    In the past week, three of my most-used bookmarked web sites have drastically changed their function and their look: one international newspaper (The Guardian), a wet-shaving place (Badger and Blade; don't laugh; 55k members), and a specialist travel site (SlowTalk). You'll be the fourth.

    So far, not one change has been for the complete better. On each site, I've lost a couple of functions. I feel they have been dumbed down (for iPhone users?) They are harder to use, for me, with huge pictures and fewer words.

    Here are three words that scare me:

    "Cleaner look/rebranding."

    "Cleaner look" means less information, or information hidden behind dismal useless graphics.

    I don't know what "rebranding" means. What in heaven's name can be wrong with the Goulet Pen "brand" that it needs to be abandoned and rebuilt? I feel we are at the ugly intersection of IT and data-free business feel-good schemes.

    I sound much more negative than I mean to. Maybe I just love GP too much and hate change? Anyway, I have followed your successful rise with admiration for years, and I am sure you'll go from strength to strength.

    Yrs, Robert Barrett

  • Speebs

    In Rachel's defense of "ironing out the bugs", I remember my third grade teacher from South Africa telling me they had to iron cloth diapers so babies didn't get chigger-like bugs around their tummy. However, I am also a tech project manager, and I agree that bugs always need ironing. πŸ™‚ Can't wait for the new site and the new ink drop. Keep up the good work over there!

  • Fabee

    Can't wait to see the new site! πŸ˜€ How exciting! You are both so adorable that I wanna hug you! Love the videos. Inksamplepalooza will be great! πŸ˜€ Thank you!

  • Tom J

    I share your concerns Robert. Almost every "improvement" I've seen made to web sites made them harder to utilize. However, Goulet Pens' web site is probably the best I've ever seen for ease of getting information and navigation. So, I'm putting my trust in Rachel and Brian (and the whole awesome Goulet Team) that they will pull this one off, like they have about everything else they've done.

  • Phillip

    Should be well worth the wait. I had a nice reminder in my phone to get on the computer this morning and sign up for the ink drop guess I'll postpone it a month and instead start building an Inkapalooza order instead πŸ˜€

    Being new to FPs (having come to them after you closed down the ink drop) I found the idea of the ink drop super exciting since to date I have only tried 20 or so inks. I cant wait for December to roll around so I can sign up for this wonderful program!

  • Chris

    oh no, i was looking forward to getting myself ink drop for my birthday when it came back this month! good luck with the upgrade!

  • Jeff Dymond

    You guy and gals are great! This is why I shop here! It is an experience NOT a shop.

  • Karl Harris

    You're going to do better than THIS!? This I gotta see!!!

  • Kathy

    Thank you for ironing out the bugs first! Rachel, that is a real expression! So many companies rush to meet artificial deadlines, then have major problems. I'm glad you are
    waiting! My Christmas shopping will wait for you!

  • Lauren

    Rebranding is usually designer talk for changing logos and the look of the company overall. I can't comment on what it will mean for Goulet's though.
    Cleaner look doesn't neses mean hiding info in graphics either. It can mean reducing clutter, like all the different drop down boxes at the top of the page when you search, they don't reall need to be there imho. In web talk it can also mean reducing the number of categories, I finf that there are too many sub categories in the menus bar.

    So take heart! It isn't always bad news, and a change is as good as a holiday.

    Although I am a little. I asked being a graphic designer, lol.

  • Otter

    That is awesome news and I'm really happy for you. It's cute to see how excited you both are. I work in IT so can totally relate to wanting to do things right, and possible bugs coming up in production no matter how hard you prepare in test.

    But just wanted to say I really love how well your site navigates now, and add my hope with those who don't want to see the kind of "improvements" that ruin other sites. I understand you have to take the increasingly mobile market into account, but I hope you're using media queries so we desktop users can continue to utilize mouse-related features.

    Thanks for always striving to give your customers the best experience possible! πŸ™‚

  • I S

    Missed the original InkDrop relaunch date due to vacation travel, but now I'll just reset my phone reminder πŸ˜€ However, I do hope the site redesign doesn't trend the same too-much-white-and-light-blue so many sites are trying to destroy my eyesight with…

  • soniasimone

    Great to see how excited you both are. πŸ™‚ Best of luck with the new site, that process is always a rollercoaster! Like all good things, Goulet Pens is evolving and growing over time. Look forward to seeing the new good stuff. πŸ™‚

  • Maeli

    Any chance the upgraded search options (which were already great btw) could include if the cap is a pull-off or threaded twist cap? Not sure the right term, but I imagine there is one. I'm a leftie with a strange and high grip (so threads become a comfort issue) and step one of looking at any pen on your site is always zooming in on one of the product images to try and see if it is threaded or not. It would be great to be able to filter out all the threaded pens with one click!

    Best of luck with the upgrade!

  • David

    "Responsive design – mobile/tablet-friendly!"

    PLEEEZE – Don't dumb-down the desktop experience on your site with some Horrible mobile wanna-be Metro-like theme!

  • Dave

    Ink Drop! Ink Drop! Ink Drop! Man… You guys get me hooked after a couple of months and then pull the rug out from under me! PLEASE HURRY! Lol…

  • Jack

    A good website makes all the difference with a business like yours. Such was the downfall of your predecessor, Chuck Swisher, who never quite had a decent website. I hope you've learned from his mistakes.

  • Dennis Lee Weathers

    What the hell is up with your site! All I get are a butch of lines and nothing else! I had to google search to get to this page. If this is any Indication of the problems I will have with your web site I will take my Business elsewhere. I was a real follower a while back but to Illness I haven't done any business with you. I really loved you guys!

    Dennis Weathers

  • Alex

    I think it's just down for routine maintenance.

  • Yung Pen Gai

    Just want to request you be careful not to overcomplicate things. New searching sounds good, better reviews sound good. But I'm nervous about rebranding and improved navigation. About rebranding: remember that your customer base views you as a small business, we like to support you personally as human beings. I definitely don't want to feel like I'm buying pens from Apple. About improved navigation: again, please keep things simple. I am a young person but I still like things kinda low tech. We're just here to look at pens, it does not take too much complexity to deliver us that content.

  • nickdanny

    good one..v nice.
    gifts online