Thursday, October 30, 2014

Goulet Q&A Episode 55, Open Forum

Goulet Q&A is now available as an audio podcast! Click here  for the RSS feed to use in your podcast app of choice, or click here for a direct download.

Goulet Q&A on a Thursday, what is going on?? Well, there's going to be a big announcement tomorrow, and I wanted to give Q&A its own day. Definitely make sure to check back here tomorrow. 

It's been a busy week launching new pens like the Delta Unica in Orange celluloid, the Stipula Splash, and Lamy gift sets! I'm not done yet either, there's a bunch more stuff coming. Until then though, sit back and let's chat about product reviews, pen shows, Noodler's Art Nib Packs, and how men and women write differently:

1) Tom J.- email - ( 8:16) 

The answer to this can be your guess-timate, I don't need hard data. But, what percentage of customers who buy a product take the time to leave a review of that product? I'm guessing it is less than 10%, but maybe not. These product reviews are so important to me (they have sold me on more items than not) and I devour them whenever I'm interested in a product. But, it seems like there should be more reviews of popular items than there are. Thanks.

2) Eleen Z.- Facebook - (13:00)
What would you recommend for a fountain pen to be used as a highlighter for students? And What highlighter ink would you recommend? 

3) Brandon D.- Facebook - (15:53) 
I know you have said you don't go to many pen shows but coming up on my one year anniversary of getting my first fountain pen (and also my 21st birthday) i was hoping to go to the Columbus Pen Show on November 8th, my question: Is it worth it to go even if i am not able to purchase anything or should i set aside $150 or so to take with me? I currently live two hours away and don't know if i should use the gas.

4) Tristian N.- Facebook - (20:16)
So you just bought yourself a new pen. Walk us through your steps. Do you admire the packaging? Give the pen a quick sniff? Do you flush it first? Fill it up entirely or just dip the nib first? And lastely, how do you decide on your color? I only have 40 colors and have a hard time choosing, I can imagine this is even harder for you so I'm very curious on your though proces on this matter.
  • my process isn’t unlike what I do in most videos
  • Color is really by what strikes me, also what I don’t yet have/what’s unique in the pen line

5) Chris P.- Facebook - (36:15)
I just got the Noodler's art nib set as a gift. They're pretty fun, but I'm wondering: is it worth trying to smooth the non-tipped nibs? And are there any great tips from the artists on Team Goulet on how best to use these nibs (techniques, papers, etc.)? 
  • do whatever the heck you want with them, they’re cheap!
  • we’re honestly still figuring them out
  • my Customer Care team has been playing around with them and having a blast
  • I personally just haven’t been able to mess with them yet, honestly 

6) Jordan L.- Facebook - (39:04)
I like the (Namiki) Pilot Falcon and the idea of it being great for flex (assuming I don’t want to go vintage) is awesome. But I would be afraid how much you can actually flex it without worrying about springing it. How far exactly will the Falcon flex comfortably? Thanks!
  • some people definitely overdo it
  • we have a certain percentage that we just know are going to destroy their nibs
  • we have been trying to think of ways to help prevent this
  • these nibs are soft, but some popular videos out there show Falcons that have been modified for added flex, and people overdo it trying to emulate these pens
  • should be able to get it to spread to about a .9-1.0mm width regularly, much more and you’re pushing it
  • better safe than sorry! 

7) Bruce S.- Facebook - (43:07)
I've been watching your videos and have been into fountain pens for about a year now, and one question that always comes to mind when looking at fountain pen stores (brick&mortar and online) in the US is the limited nib grinds. It seems like a pen enthusiast would need to go through another country (i.e. Japan) or through a nib-meister to get some of these grinds. I'm at the stage where I have a good feeling on the pen shape, but interested in exploring grinds of pen. What's the best way to go about experiencing these nib styles not available to the US (posting, wave, music, coarse, etc.)? As a retailer and fellow enthusiast, do see a need or a move to get more of these into the US?
  • I don’t know much more about these nibs than you do
  • I am working to get more offered in the US
  • it’s always a consideration of what can be made in volume and how much something will sell 
  • distributorship needs to make sense, often doesn’t for obscure nibs 

8) Henry- Ink Nouveau - (49:27)
Is there a difference between a woman using a fountain pen versus a man? Any difference in writing line thickness, ink, pen or nib selection? Try comparing Brian's (your) writing with Rachel's.
  • I wouldn’t say definitely that gender matters, too many other variables
  • there could be assumptions made about hand size, writing angle, writing pressure
  • bigger hands: more pressure, lower writing angle, darker ink/thicker lines
  • smaller hands: less pressure, steeper angle, thinner/lighter lines 

9) Donna M.- Facebook - (54:29)
I vividly remember the first time I ever saw a fountain pen in action at age five. How did your love affair with fountain pens begin?

Thanks so much for spending time with me this week, I really appreciate it. Thanks so much for continuing to ask questions, and I'm sorry to all those whose questions I couldn't answer today. Be sure to check here if you have any old Q&A's that you missed. Have a great rest of the week!

QOTW: What was the most embarrassing Halloween costume you ever wore as a kid? 

Write On,
Brian Goulet


  1. Well, it wasn't as a kid, just a few years ago. I dressed up as Poison Ivy from Batman. It was my very best costume, my legs and arms were green, all my make up was green, and I had ivy leaves made from a green cloth all over my clothes. I also had just dyed my hair in a vibrant red. So when I went our that night I was pretty proud of my costume. Until everyone I met said "hey, nice costume Tinker Bell! But you should be blonde!". You can imagine it was not my best Halloween.

  2. That Delta Unica looks exciting! Can't wait to check out all the new stuff.
    Hilarious story about the pumpkin costume, Brian! *LOL* My most embarrassing realization was finding out the sailor "Dixie" cap I was wearing (which I'd gotten from a military supply store, so it was authentic and I loved it) didn't suit my face. Certain kinds of hats fit certain kinds of faces, but as a kid I didn't realize that. Not till I saw the photos later, and my head looked as round as a pumpkin with that thing on! :p

  3. I went as a package one year, and my costume was basically a big box that I put my legs through the bottom of. At one of the restaurants where we trick-or-treated I couldn't fit through the door, and at the supermarket around the corner from my house I knocked over an enormous stack of soup cans.

  4. I was ten and wore one of my sisters' dresses to school. (With that, a purse and a mask and I was sure no-one would know who I was....) WRONG! Fortunately I had thought that it might happen, so I put a brick in the purse. Getting clocked with a brick by a ten-year-old can earn a little respect (but my "friends" did make up for it the next day).

  5. Eleen Z.: I keep a Parallel 3.8mm pen inked with highlighter ink. It draws a very nice line and can sit capped for a very long time without drying out. Here are a couple of negatives. You have to hold the nib flat against the paper as you draw your highlighted line. A felt tip highlighter like the Platinum Preppy Highlighter is soft and more forgiving with its angle. If you are highlighting in a text book and the page is curved, not totally flat, it is harder to use the Parallel, easier to use the Preppie. Second, the Parallel has only one line width, while with the Preppy you can use the different sides of the felt tip to get narrow or wider lines. You can replace the felt tip in the preppy easily. The Parallel is the best highlighter, but for on-the-go use, the Preppy may be the most versatile.

  6. The Delta Unica looks great, but is that really orange celluloid or resin? Thanks for the videos!

  7. Not as a kid, but in grad school I made a homemade crow costume. I had big crow wings, feathers, and blacked all my skin with makeup. A few months later one of my fellow lab members was giving a powerpoint talk and put Halloween costume pictures of all the lab members in the acknowledgements slide. However, just my head had been cropped, so it looked like I was in blackface. Everyone on my thesis committee probably still thinks I am racist.

    By the way, I am going to have a hard time resisting the neponset now that it looks like release is imminent.

  8. Black Swan in Australian Roses update please? And are there any dupes for the old color?

  9. Oh yeah, when I was about 5 I had a pair of cammo pants that I REFUSED to take off, my mom had to wash them constantly so I could keep wearing them. I eventually outgrew them, but same kind of thing!

  10. haha, oh my!!! That is really funny, I'm sorry :)

  11. Oh wow, the things we do as kids, huh? ;)

  12. Celluloid! It's basically too good to be true. I kind of can't believe Delta agreed to do it in the first place, but I was not going to argue! But I did find out a couple of days ago that I'm not going to be able to order more, so this is really pretty much a one-shot deal. Celluloid is normally only on MUCH more expensive pens.

  13. Thanks for sharing Tom! I honestly don't do nearly as much highlighting as I'm sure you and others do, this is great info.

  14. Yeah, I really need to update on this! I've been getting more or less 'official' word on this, but the color is actually now much closer to the old one. It swung to a heavy purple for one shipment we had in the summer, now we're seeing it back to a darker burgundy. I'll be working up a full blog post explaining all this soon.

  15. Oh geez! Yeah taken out of context I can see how that would be dicey. The Neponset is imminent, we'll release it tomorrow (11/6) at 1pm EDT!

  16. I have to say, I'm female and I think I write pretty much the way you do, Brian. My pen line is low and I write heavy. I have terrible handwriting. I post my caps and have a small hand. The only pens I own are Lamy Safari because I like the concave grip - it makes me more careful in how I hold my pens with a three finger grip. I would like to diversify in my pen choices. Any suggestions?

  17. good one..v nice.
    gifts in india.



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