Friday, May 8, 2015

Goulet Q&A Episode 77, 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.

I'm back from vacation and ready to tackle your toughest fountain pen questions. I'm answering questions on Monday Matchup entries, vegan pen storage options, and my bike! Need help convincing someone to switch to fountain pens? I've got some advice on that as well. Relax, unwind, and spend some time talking fountain pens with me. 

New/Upcoming Products - (3:37)
Pens/Writing - (8:13

1) Joven Chiew- YouTube - (8:31)
I often see people referred the E95s style of nib as inset rather than inlaid. The inlaid suppose be integrated as part of the section fused together as a single unit. Is that correct? 
  • technically yes, I believe that’s right
  • Richard Binder’s glossary defines it this way, he knows a lot about nibs so I’d say take his word on it!
  • I may have misspoken out of ignorance myself

2) justin reinsma- YouTube - (10:47)
How are cross pens? I've picked up an aventura from the store close to me, and for 40 bucks I'm not sure I've scored a good deal?
  • I don’t have a lot of experience with the Aventura, or Cross in general
  • We’ve recently become a Cross authorized retailer
  • not sure how much we’re going to expand into them, but we definitely will
  • known a lot for their rollerballs, corporate crowds
  • could consider getting into branded/personalized stuff

3) @DrWesLindsey- Twitter  - (15:20)
My fiancée has beautiful handwriting. Can't get her to use a FP. What's your best pitch 4 a fountain pen skeptic?
  • you’ll never convince a skeptic to “use” fountain pens, ongoing
  • you CAN convince them to TRY your fountain pen
  • lead by example, write with yours and use interesting inks, stub nibs or flex nibs that show off your writing
  • encourage her to try a pen of yours you know writes really well, is smooth, and has an ink color she’d like
  • really, the ink will draw her in
  • she has to want it for herself to make it happen
  • it may not happen, but that’s okay

4) Tim F.- Facebook - (20:29)

I'm a vegan, so I don't use leather at all. I have the Monteverde case to store my pens at home, but I'm still searching for a solution to toss one or two pens in a case in my bag for the day. Any ideas? Would you consider stocking non-leather pen carry options?
  • I don’t know specifically of any off-hand, no brands I carry have any non-leather slips
  • Etsy has a LOT of different ones
  • You could make one yourself, out or denim, ballistic nylon, felt, velvet, you name it 

Paper - (22:49)
5) Mike C. - Facebook   - (22:55)
I volunteer at a non-profit...we use steno pads for a lot of work. They are not fountain pen compatible. Do you know of any that are?
  • GouletPens.com, top menu click “Paper, Notebooks
  • left nav under “binding orientation” click “top
  • Results here
  • Rhodia top-staplebound pads (with pad holders)
  • Rhodia/Clairefontane top-wirebounds
  • likely won’t find something that fits perfectly in the pad holder you have, these are Euro sizes

Business - (25:23)

6) Kenneth McGeechan- YouTube - (25:26)
Is there any Goulet employee that is still using a ballpoint pen?
  • not if they want to keep working here (joking)
  • sure, we’re not ridiculous about that
  • we do give a pen to everyone hired after their 90-day intro period
  • free ink samples (within reason)
  • always encouraged to try new pens when we get them in
  • most everyone gets into FP’s, surely it doesn’t translate to every aspect of their writing life
  • really impactful, Pilot G2’s! Everyone uses those

7) Todd L.- Facebook - (26:16)
How many people are entering the ‪#‎mondaymatchupgiveaway‬ each week? Do you find it fluctuates depending on what is offered? Just wondering what my odds were of winning.
  • it can vary quite a bit, and has been growing pretty rapidly in the last couple of months
  • getting around 150 entries each week now
  • the more expensive the pen, the more people enter for sure
  • winner is truly random, so you just have to follow the rules and you’ll be entered
  • it’s not hard to enter, and really the goal is to get people interested and excited to share their stuff and view others’
  • it’s great to give people a reason to pull out their pens

8) Po L.- Facebook - (35:50)
I would like to ask will you consider adding an option "Do not include sticker & bookmark in my package" for Goulet customers. Well, I am not saying that it is not a good idea. I love it when I get it for the first time I received the package. However, when I keep purchasing from Goulet, I got more and more stickers & bookmarks. I don't want to throw them away. 
  • likely not, though I understand this is something a fair number of folks would prefer
  • we do get a lot of new customers, and having a checkbox like that would be kind of confusing
  • more importantly, it’s custom development we’d have to pay to have that put in there, and it’s too expensive
  • put a note about it in your order comments and we’re happy to honor it (ask for extra Tootsie Pops instead)
  • really though, give them away! They’re marketing pieces, we want them to be shared : ) 

Personal - (39:35)

9) Jan T.- Facebook - (39:45)
What fountain pens does Rachel prefer (her top 5 and 3 everyday carry) and why? Her favorite inks? 

10) Cathy F.- Facebook - (41:07)
While you were gone, Margaret asked us all about what pens we carry when traveling. So which pens did you and Rachel take to "the happiest place
on earth"?
11) Keith W.- Facebook - (46:41)
Brian, tell us about your bike.

QOTW: What’s your pitch for when you’re trying to get someone else into fountain pens?  - (49:34)

Thanks so much for spending time with me this week, I really appreciate it! Be sure to check here if there are any old Q&A's that you missed.

Write On,

Brian Goulet


  1. Do you have any staff with small hands? I have an Edison Nouveau Premiere. It is too long (un-posted) or too top heavy. Could you cover pens for smaller hands- smaller women or children?

  2. Great Q&A as always. First of all, Justin's question about his Aventura. You can purchase an Aventura rollerball from the Cross website for $31 now. Don't know what the online price was when he actually purchased the pen.

    I think Cross pens are reliable workhorses. I still have my father's Cross pens given by his employer (IBM) for a work anniversary back in the 60s. I have an Apogee FP that is one of my favorites. The only issues I have with Cross are the inconsistency with the pricing, and the seemingly lack of new products or colors (that appeal to me) The pricing issue may be great if you are heavily discounting them, but, if you aren't, then it seems it could be a problem for a business person. However, I have to admit I don't shop price when I'm ordering from you. If you carry it, I buy it from you. But I'm generally not buying anything from you that I can purchase at Staples.

    With respect to new products, it seems most of their new products are things I'm not interested in, such as the "year of the xxx-animal" series. Their fountain pens, other than the Apogee, are too thin for me. I've looked at the new Peerless; it's a nice pen, but a little generic. I hope you can get some other styles, or at least some other colors.

    Finally, you mentioned a while back that you might carry Waterman. I'm holding off on buying another Carene, and my birthday present for myself, the Edson, until I know if you are carrying them. Are you going to carry Waterman? If so, do you know what lines yet? Thanks!!!

  3. Re #7 -- there's a giveaway?!

  4. Re #6 -- Y'all love the Pilot G2 rollerball pens but don't sell them? That's a stunner! Or are you in the process of adding them to your rollerball offerings?

  5. Hey Team Goulet,
    I have a question for an upcoming Q&A: Will you be carrying the mini Iroshizuku ink bottles in the near future? And if so, any idea on the price? They are far and away my favorite inks, and I'd love to have more of the different shades on hand. The larger bottles, however, are just too pricey to justify collecting them set, at least it is for this poor scribbler's wallet... As always, I extend my respect and admiration. Serious writing can be lonely business. Team Goulet brings a sense of joy and community to the work. Thank you.

  6. Hi BC! I have small hands so I feel your pain! Have you tried a Nib Creaper, a Poquito, or a Kaweco? They all work really well for me. :)

  7. Hey there! Yes, there is a giveaway on Instagram. If you have an account you match your pen and ink, take a picture and tag us. We randomly select a winner every week. :)

  8. Thanks, Madigan. I haven't figured out Instagram yet. Too much social media, not enough time to do it all! I'll just have to keep acquiring new pens the old-fashioned way: using money. ;)

  9. Hey Mike! We're thinking about it. We'll be sure to let everyone know if we do. :)

  10. Hey Kathy! Thanks for all the Cross knowledge! Obviously, you have way more experience than we do. Definitely some good points to keep in mind. We decided against carrying the Waterman pens. There were a lot of considerations and it just didn't seem like a good fit for us right now.

  11. Great Q&A as always! I have to admit to being a bit bummed to find out there's a contest on Instagram only, but since I wasn't even aware of it before, guess I haven't actually "lost" anything. Regarding the QOTW: I don't really pitch my pens to convince anyone -- but I have turned some people on just by my enthusiasm alone. *g* Enablers unite!

  12. Hi Madigan! Thanks for letting me know about Waterman. I'm really sorry it wasn't a good fit for you, but I know the Goulets are good business folks, and I'm glad they know what is a fit and what isn't. I still love my Watermans, though! Have a great week!

  13. Loved the video! Love your energy and passion, Brian! Hands down for me would be (any of) the TWSBIs - especially the 580AL. I have a vast collection of high end name brand fountain pens from having been a collector before I retired, and I assure you, the TWSBI 580AL can go nib to nib with any of them as far as pure writing pleasure and ease of use.

  14. Sing it, Scott! My personal fav as well!

  15. We can special order Waterman pens though! Email us at info@gouletpens.com if there is one you are looking for. :)

  16. G2 Rollerballs? Seriously? That's really getting away from the main business. I can get the G2 Rollerballs at Walmart. I'm kind of surprised, and, I regret to say, a little disappointed. I love many things about Goulet Pens, but one of those things is the focus on, and enthusiasm for, fountain pens, and the community that creates. I hope this doesn't change.

  17. how about a Pilot Prera...my granddaughter loves it

  18. To the person who wondered about non-leather cases, I would recommend that he try out the pen pouches at Nock Co. They are wonderful pouches.

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