Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A Goulet Life: Inky Splatter Acceptance

Inky splatter acceptance is an integral part of working here at the Goulet Pen Company. This video demonstrates our extensive training program and the experience that many employees may have while undergoing this training. No employees were harmed in the making of this video. The sweater and shirt are in a more colorful place.

Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

Monday, June 29, 2015

Monday Matchup #54: Parker Urban Premium Golden Pearl Medium with De Atramentis Gold

Don't we all have favorite places to be? For some it might be a specific location, and for others the answer may simply be outside or at home. The location may differ, but often the feeling is the same. We long to be in places that show beauty, hold meaning and make memories for us. The places where we feel most alive, known and at peace.

For this week's Monday Matchup, Product Photographer Sarah takes us to the Huascarán mountain in Peru. Watching the sunrise with her coffee in hand, this is one of her favorite places in the world. The Anita Desai quote also reminds us that places hold memories, and those stay with us forever.
Where do you feel alive, known and at peace? Wherever it is, take your fountain pen along.

The Parker Urban Premium Golden Pearl is available at Gouletpens.com for $63.20. De Atramentis Gold is available in a 35 ml bottle for $12.95 as well as in a 2ml ink sample for $1.25.  

Write on, 
The Goulet Pen Company Team

Friday, June 26, 2015

Goulet Q&A Episode 84, 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.

In this week's Q&A, Brian finally gives an update on the TWSBI Eco, talks about erasable inks, and why you might want to think twice about shoving a kitchen knife in between your nib tines. Enjoy!

‏1) @chevchelios069 - Twitter - (5:52)
@GouletPens Hey Brian, any news related to the TWSBI Eco? Is there like an approximate release date?
  • yup! TWSBI just put on their Facebook page
  • mid-late July! 
  • under $30, piston filler
  • very exciting, we’ll surely sell out quickly
2) Sam F. - Facebook - (7:29)
I'm pulling the trigger on an OMAS Arte Italiana Vision on Friday. I think it'd be a shame to NOT get the EF, extra-flexible (and I love nibs with flex). On the other hand, I don't want to be so worried about springing the tines that I'm scared to do everyday writing with it.  Exactly how careful do you have to be with those nibs?

  •  it’s VERY soft, too soft for me
  • as an everyday pen, I think I might discourage you from it unless you have a really light touch
  • the 18k nib is pretty soft as is!
3) Ann T. - Facebook- (11:01)
I really like my pilot metropolitan fine nib pens. I've tried some ""next level"" pens but have ended  up being unhappy with the grip section's shape,  or nib or weight or length of the pens. Am I missing out if I end my quest for the perfect pen (for me) with the metropolitan? Do you have any recommendations for other pens that are most similar to the metropolitans? Thanks!
  • if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! 
  • there’s nothing wrong with loving your Metro, focus on ink/paper to enhance your writing experience for a while
  • eventually you’ll want to branch out again, but don’t force it
  • there’s always more Metros in new colors (later this year) or other nicer Pilot pens like the Custom 74 (big upgrade though) 
4) Jake A. - Facebook - (16:46)
Are the Noodler's replacement flex nibs proprietary to those pens, or could i slap one on a Jinhao and get my flex on?
  • they’re not proprietary, they’re #6 size which is used on several different pens
  • Jinhao is the one where it’s a really struggle to fit it 

Paper - (20:19)

5) ‏@TweetNafi - Twitter - (20:45)
Can we expect new notebooks and new planners in the coming months? I'm looking for a planner that can take fp ink.
  • we don’t have a huge selection, just Rhodia and Leuchtturm 
  • JUST got in the Rhodia Webplanners 
  • in general planners are not great with FP ink, they’re made to absorb/dry quickly for ‘on the go'
6) Amanda A. - Facebook - (24:20)
What do you think of cotton paper?
  • I don’t have vast experience with it, mainly just Original Crown Mill Pure Cotton
  • feels really nice in the hand
  • a little draggy on the nib, that’s how it’s supposed to be
  • lose a lot of shading and vibrancy of the ink, which is okay for some inks and some people really like that
  • overall not my favorite but I’ll use it every now and then 

Ink - (28:38)

7) 林理谙 - Facebook - (28:44)
Can you sell erasable inks/ink erasers? Which inks can be erased? Can you ask Nathan to see if he would make ink eraser fluid? 

  • I don’t know how interested Nathan would be in that, he’s all about permanence! 
  • the only ‘erasable’ ink I know is Pilot Frixion, which is a ballpoint pen/ink that’s pretty cool
  • it technically doesn’t erase, just changes the chemical makeup to make it clear through heat/friction
  • I don’t know of any FP ink that does this, or even could
8) Joshua T. - Facebook - (34:33)
If you haven't already, can you discuss "fast dry" inks? What are your favorites? What are the pitfalls of some of these?
  • in general, I don’t like them personally
  • I don’t have a need for the fast-dry feature most of the time, and the tradeoff is too high for me (desaturated color and lack of shading)
  • Noodler’s Bernankes are pretty good, dull colors though
9) Roberto A. - YouTube - (36:51)
In the last Q&A you explained the difference between Noodlers black and black eel (lubricant), do you know what is different in the x-feather? Thank you!!!
  • probably #3 Noodler’s Black to Black and Heart of Darkness
  • it’s thicker, so it helps with feathering, sure, but it also works well for dip pens
  • long dry time is the drawback 

Business - (39:42)

10) Jay K. - Facebook - (39:53)
Have you looked into fixed-interval discounts for repeat customers? A website recently gave me a 3-day coupon for a recent birthday and I thought it was a nice touch. If you don't have the user's birthday you could key off of their first order, etc.
  • yeah, I’ve toyed with the idea
  • it’s appealing, part of why we wanted to switch sites late last year
  • still something we’re talking about, may be an option in the future
11) @inkywrist –Twitter - (43:41)
As someone who placed two orders this week, does your team ever start to recognize names that come through often?
  • Oh certainly
  • it kind of depends though, especially on how unique your name or address is! 
  • interesting order comments help us remember you too :) 
  • sometimes we don’t realize just how much we actually interact with you b/c of different s/n for different platforms

Troubleshooting - (47:47)

12) Alex S. - Facebook - (47:51)
I bought a Pilot Custom 92 recently and I LOVE this pen. That 14kt nib is awesome. This is my first pen over $50 and I'm terrified of posting the cap for fear of it scratching up the barrel. Is there really any concern or am I being over-dramatic?
  • it’s an expensive pen, I get it!
  • it’s like getting a new car, you worry about getting that first little scratch or ding
  • eventually, you might get some element of physical wear on it, and then it won’t seem so bad :)
  • no, posting won’t hurt this pen, you’ll be okay 
13) Ricky J. - Facebook - (53:28)
How can we increase the ink flow on Pilot 78G Medium nib? I had a really dry flow and I took the pen apart and decided to run kitchen knife through the slit in the feed....should I do it again and try shaving a little to make that slit a little bit wider? (Also....Parker quink sucks lol).
  • oy vey! yeah, don’t use a kitchen knife!
  • spreading the tines with any knife isn’t my approach
  • flossing tines with brass sheet can help clean it, often all that’s needed
  • there’s a difference between a pen that writes drier than it should and cleaning it back to it’s original glory, and taking a pen that’s naturally dry and altering it to make it wetter than intended
  • not sure where this lands, but with the knife you’re getting into alteration instead of just maintenance
  • Quink is super-dry, so just switching inks might make you happy!

QOTW: Do you have an intro-level pen that you just always keep going back to? - (59:48)

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

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Travel Pens: Backpacking Edition

Summer is the season of travel and while some vacations are for rest and relaxation, others are for exploration and discovery. If you are headed off on an expedition, especially of a vast region like Europe or Asia, you will be covering large distances and will want to travel light. A great pen and travel notebook are a fantastic way to record your thoughts, do some doodles, and record all those addresses and train schedules while on the move. We've got a selection of perfect portable pens, notebooks, and ink that will fit into your backpack and budget. 

When living out of a backpack you'll want items that have the following qualities: 
  • durable
  • lightweight
  • easy to refill (cartridges)
  • affordable 
  • reliable
  • simple

Kaweco Pen

Monteverde Poquito
***UPDATE*** As of October 2016, the Monteverde Poquito has been discontinued by our distributor. 
  • Small
  • Metal (durable yet light)
  • Standard International cartridge
  • Medium nib only (bummer)
  • Reliable
  • $24
Monteverde Poquito Fountain Pen in Pink

Pilot Varsity 
  • Inexpensive
  • Durable
  • Disposable
  • Writes well
  • Variety of color options
  • $3 each or comes in a pack of 7 for $21
Pilot Varsity Fountain Pens


Midori Traveler's Notebook - Brown (Passport Size) 
  • Made to fit an actual passport, hence the name!
  • Can serve as a passport cover
  • Keep all the info you need in your pocket, name and address of next hostel, train schedule, etc
  • Keep your money in the zippered pocket- it doesn't look like a wallet so less likely to be stolen
  • Leather is very durable
  • Very respectable paper quality
  • $50.20
Carry your pen with you! No rummaging through that jumbled bottom of that backpack for a pen.
  • Keeps your pen right with your notebook
  • Matches the rest of the notebook
  • Fits Kaweco okay, Varsity and Poquito fit better 
  • $14.40
  • Tickets, train passes, hotel keys (the plastic kind) can all go into this one place. 
  • Made to fit the passport
  • $6.40
  • Strap in any number of accessories you need
  • Put different types of notebooks in there (blank, lined, graph)
  • Skip the bands and just use the elastic on the notebook
  • $4.20

  • Dot grid
  • Great for quick notes, non-permanent things
  • Small, durable cover
  • Paper quality is awesome
  • $3
Rhodia No. 12 Dot Pad

Clairefontaine Basic Notebooks
  • Alternative to full-on Midori Traveler’s Notebook
  • Clairefontaine paper is fantastic, durable craft covers
  • $7 for a 2 pack

Standard International Cartridges
  • durable
  • lightweight
  • easy to find locally
  • variety of colors/brands
  • standard size across brands
  • easy to use
Brands that have Standard International cartridges:
Ziplock bags
  • Snack bags for pens & ink cartridges
  • Bigger ones are good for notebooks 

We hope you enjoyed the video and our selection! Are you taking a backpacking trip this summer? What will you be taking with you?

Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company Team 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Edison Nouveau Premiere Fireball Summer 2015 SE Fountain Pen

Some people might consider Memorial Day where the pools open as the start of summer. Others might think of their kids getting let out of school. But for us at GouletPens.com, the real change of seasons happens with the announcement of our Edison Nouveau Premiere 2015 Summer Edition called Fireball

This is the 7th seasonal Premiere we’ve done, and we have chosen a hot red. This is the latest color for our exclusive Edison pen at GouletPens.com that'll be available for around a 3-month period (or until the material runs out). This is the first time we’ve done a red Premiere (with the exception of the ebonite Cherry Cordial LE in late 2011) and it looks hot. If it looks familiar to you, that's because it was the red used for the Ruby Edison Hudson that was discontinued last year. 

The Premiere is $149 which includes the pen, a standard international converter, and box. The slightly translucent cast-resin material shows the ink level (especially in eyedropper mode). It will be darker at the grip section because of the black nib housing and the translucent material, and you might see ink in the grip, too so don't be alarmed. 

The nibs are available with EF, F, M, B, 1.1mm, 1.5mm stainless steel polished Edison nibs made by Jowo in Germany that are smooth with a hint of feedback. The nibs are interchangeable and additional ones are sold individually for $25. I have a separate video Changing Edison Nibs that's 4 years old but hasn’t changed. 

Inks that match the Fireball:

We're launching our Premiere Fireball starting today, and this pen will be hot! Learn more details about it at GouletPens.com, and let us know your thoughts below in the comments. 

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Express Gratitude

Original Crown Mill Classic Laid Mini Gift Card Set
Expressing gratitude is a company value we take seriously around the GPC office. There’s tremendous significance in saying thank you to someone face-to-face (in fact we do this weekly at our company meeting!), but often it’s worth the extra time and effort to put pen to paper to say thank you in writing. The late William Arthur Ward said, “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” Expressing gratitude is both needed and powerful. It not only connects us to those we know well, but also to the stranger who gives directions or holds the door. 

So, why write a thank you note? Because writing it down is helpful. I’ve found that when I sit down to write, my mind slows down for me to think about the person, our relationship and the item/gift that I’m thankful for. It also gives the recipient something to hold on to. In our culture today, text messages and emails are often here and gone so quickly. But a handwritten letter is an encouragement and gift that the recipient can return to often. I’ve held on to thank you notes for many years that were written by former bosses, family members and friends. And if you need another reason to write a thank you note, remember it’s an opportunity to use your favorite fountain pen and ink!

When I was younger, my parents would give me the sentences to include in my thank you notes to family. It really wasn’t until my high school graduation that I had to come up with my own thoughts when writing thank you notes. My advice? Be genuine. Share something you appreciate not just about the gift, but about the person who gave it to you.

Here are some situations you may find yourself in and a few tips to help you say thank you...

1. Someone has given you a birthday, graduation or wedding gift:

  • Thank them for thinking of you or for coming to your party.
  • Let them know how you plan to use their gift.
  • Remind them what your relationship means to you. These sentences are often the most meaningful!  

2. Someone has helped you move, pack or watched your pets while you were away:
  • Thank them for their willingness to help.
  • Let them know that you realize their time is valuable. Share what it meant to you that they chose to spend it helping you.  
  • Tell them you'd return the favor whenever needed!  

3. Someone has extended their friendship to you in time of need, or you’re just feeling extra thankful for them at this particular moment: 
  • Thank them for their willingness to listen. 
  • Tell them what it means to have a friend you trust deeply.
  • Let them know that you are there for them as well.

Are you in the habit of writing thank you notes? Let me know in the comments below. 

Now it just wouldn't be right if I didn't thank you for reading...

Write on, 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Monday Matchup #53: Rohrer & Klingner Glass Dip Pen - Blue/Gold with Noodler's Antietam

For time innumerable, man has tried to measure moments, to place markers, and schedule meetings. To distinguish the space between now and later, we developed the sun dial, the Egyptian water clock, the Saxon candle clock, and eventually, the iWatch. As timing became more and more important we developed better and better ways to measure and account for it.

Jenni uses a Rhorer & Klingner Glass Dip Pen and Noodler's Antietam ink to draw a now antiquated time piece- a beautiful mechanical clock. Hands that are usually sweeping time around the this lovely face are frozen for your viewing pleasure. Albert Einstein's quote on time makes us remember that while relative, time passes for a reason.

How do we measure time here at Goulet? Perhaps in lines drawn, letters written, and ink spilled.

Rohrer & Klingner Glass Dip Pen - Blue/Gold is available at Gouletpens.com for $30. Noodler's Antietam is available in a 3oz bottle for $12.50 or ink sample for $1.25.  

Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Father's Day Reflections: Meet the Dads of Goulet Pens

Happy Father's Day! While we are a young company here at Goulet, we still have several fathers on the team that we want to celebrate. All of their kids are under 10, but fatherly wisdom and dad jokes start early! We hope they (and all the dads out there!) have a fantastic day.

Drew, Customer Care Manager

How long have you been a father and what is your child’s name?
I’ve been a father since February 12 of last year (16 months). My son’s name is Archer.

What is your favorite part about being a father?
I think my favorite part about being a Father would be the bond that a baby brings to your marriage. I’ve been with my wife for 10 years, and Archer is a result of the love and dedication that we’ve been building all this time. He’s representative of a whole lot – every time I see him, I’m reminded of how amazing our love is and the amazing things we can accomplish. The crazy thing is that even after a decade, this is just the beginning.

What’s your favorite dad joke?
They have to be spur of the moment!

What is the funniest thing your child has done?
There was one time where a friend joked about Shannon (my wife) being pregnant again, and before either of us could make a “heck no!” remark, Archer inexplicably screamed. It was perfect – he started cracking up at himself as though he knew he was going to be a one-and-done baby. Also laughing at his own farts.

What Goulet items would you recommend to father’s out there?
Bulb syringes. Ha! Midori Traveler’s notebook. For special moments with your child. Or as a kayak diary.

Brandon, Fulfillment Specialist

How long have you been a father and what is your child’s name?
I’ve been a father for seven months, but I’ve known Nicole for five years. My wife and I got married in November so now I’m a step-father. Nicole is 8.

What is your favorite part about being a father?
Interacting with her. Playing games and teaching her about life.

What’s your favorite dad joke?
Nicole likes the “Made you look” game. I’ll do it and then she’ll do it right after. She doesn’t realize that you have to wait. Haha!

What is the funniest thing your child has done?
One time, our cat Roxy, she likes to fetch balls. Nicole threw a rubber ball and it got stuck in the door well. It was really funny. Maybe you had to be there…

What Goulet items would you recommend to father’s out there?

I love my Lamy Al-Star. It’s simple and even if you aren’t a writing enthusiast, it’s a great starter pen.

Randall, Assistant Fulfillment Manager

How long have you been a father and what is your child’s name?
I have been a father for 8 months and her name is Sophie Renee.

What is your favorite part about being a father?
I would say my favorite part of being a father is seeing her smile.

What’s your favorite dad joke?
I don’t have a favorite joke but, I would say that I love playing peek-a-boo with her.

What is the funniest thing your child has done?
To me the funniest thing she has done is play music with measuring cups, because she is finally understanding that she can make noise.

What Goulet items would you recommend to father’s out there?
I would recommend a simple pen and notebook just so that they can jot notes down each day to help remember what is happening. It is fun to look back and see when she crawled first or started to talk.

Christian, Inventory Control Analyst

How long have you been a father and what is your child’s name?
Been a Dad for 5 months, 24 days.  My daughter's name is Norah Lynn.

What is your favorite part about being a father?
Getting to “talk” and play with her.  Allows me to be a kid with her.

What’s your favorite dad joke?
How do you make a Kleenex dance? Put a little boogie in it!

What is the funniest thing your child has done?
Funniest thing she has done is gasp and kick her legs in excitement when you walk in her room in the morning.  It's hilarious to watch her get so worked up because we are there.

What Goulet items would you recommend to father’s out there?
You got to organize your life and keep your “honey-do” lists straight, so I would recommend, the Midori lineup or a Leuchtturm Jottbook.

Jeremy, Order Processing Specialist

How long have you been a father and what are your children’s names?
I’ve been a father for four years. Ella and Noah are my kids.

What is your favorite part about being a father?
Watching them learn and grow and do new things.  Noah started walking on his 1st birthday. On the day I got home from work, he took his first steps.

What’s your favorite dad joke?
Why did the elephant paint her toenails red? So she could hide in the strawberry patch.

What is the funniest thing your child has done?
Ella told our neighbors that my wife and I are cousins. She didn’t understand family relationships. Also any time I wear a shirt she likes she tells me that I looked adorable.

What Goulet items would you recommend to father’s out there? 
TWSBI Vac 700. Because of the ink capacity. Who has time to constantly put ink in their pen?? Ink cartridges in a Jinhao with a Goulet nib is quick and easy, too.

Adam, Fulfillment Manager

How long have you been a father and what is your child’s name?
I have only been a Dad for about 3 months now. My son’s name is Hudson Xavier.

What is your favorite part about being a father?
My favorite part about being a dad is singing and playing the guitar for him and exposing him to new music. He has listened to Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Debussy, Vivaldi, Barber, Radiohead, Queen, Pink Floyd and various other 90’s alternative rock and classic rock bands. It’s fun to see him respond to music. The worst is going to be sharing my Lego’s. That’s gonna be tough.

What’s your favorite dad joke?
I don’t know any Dad jokes yet. Sorry. Ask me again next year.

What is the funniest thing your child has done?
The funniest things my kid has done is not sleep for the first few weeks of his life. That was hilarious.

What Goulet items would you recommend to father’s out there? 
I am a big fan of the Monteverde Invincia line of pens. Those pens are nice and heavy, and I like the feeling of a nice strong pen in my hand. I use my Nighthawk more than any other pen. I keep it inked up with Rohrer and Klingner Cassia and I always use a stub nib. If you’re someone who doesn’t have great handwriting, a good stub nib will just add a bit of sophistication to your cursive with no effort whatsoever on your part. The Nighthawk I keep in my office, but my daily carry pens are my silver Jinhao with a Goulet 1.5 nib, and my extra-fine yellow vanishing point. I keep Mahatma Gandhi in my Vanishing Point, and I swap out colors in my Jinhao constantly. It’s my test pen. When one color is used up, I try a new one that I’ve never used before.

I would also highly recommend a Midori passport size travelers notebook. I was lucky enough to pick up one of the limited edition traveler’s star notebooks. I keep lined paper for grocery lists, and my honey-do list. I use it as a planner, for doodling, and you can by the zipper pocket and card file for photos of your kids to pull out every once and a while. The really nice thing about this book is that when I have filled up one refill, I can take it out and save it for my son to look through later as he learns to read. That’s a big part of the reason I bought it. It was intended to keep as a journal that I would file away for my wife to read when we got into or golden years, but now my son will receive the same benefit.

Brian Goulet, Co-Owner and CEO

How long have you been a father and what are your children’s names?
My son Joseph is 5 and my daughter Ellie is 3.

What is your favorite part about being a father?
My silly answer is that I love dad jokes. I’m pretty corny at heart, and having young kids to laugh at my groaner jokes is just the best. I’m a hero to them no matter what I do (at least at this age!). My more serious answer is that I know that God created me to be a father and I have felt no greater sense of fulfillment in my life than to lead my family well.

What’s your favorite dad joke?
Haha, yes, I did have some influence in our asking this question to our company dads :) There are so…many…good dad jokes out there, but the one most meaningful to me is actually the first joke that my son learned when he was about three years old. He heard Percy tell it to Thomas the Tank Engine and for about 6 months he’d literally fall on the floor laughing at himself each time he told it, “What does a snowman eat for breakfast? Snowflakes!"

What is the funniest thing your child has done?
My daughter is an endless stream of cuteness and joy, she regularly wears tutus and neon garments of one kind or another. Pretty much just watching her being three years old is entertaining. My son’s a little more reserved, though he says spontaneously profound statements that totally blindside us! One of the best ones was where Rachel and I were discussing some challenges we were facing with our leadership and communication (like communication’s ever an issue with a group of 30 people, right?). Joseph was 4 and we didn’t suspect he was even listening to anything we were talking about when he comes out with, “…Mommy, people just need to know themselves.” He then proceeded to blow bubbles in his milk and giggle as they touched his nose.

What Goulet items would you recommend to father’s out there?
For a nice pen, consider pooling together with your other family members and get a Lamy 2000 or matte black Pilot Vanishing Point. Trust me, if your dad’s like me he  would rather have one nice pen than three ties, a new battery for his power drill, and an electric razor. For a gift that keeps on giving, I’d say look at the Goulet Pen Tuning Set, so your dad can tinker with some of his old, fussy nibs and get a little geek-out time to himself with his pens.

We hope you enjoyed getting to know a little more about the dads of Goulet Pens.

Happy Father's Day!

Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

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