5 Tips For Introducing Others to Fountain Pens

As you can imagine, talking about fountain pens happens quite a bit around the Goulet Pens office. We all get excited about new inks, flexible nibs and the latest hack someone has discovered. I have lots of conversations with family, friends, and even strangers, where I get asked about my job. I’m a fountain pen enthusiast, so I get excited to share my love of fountain pens with others! But sometimes it’s hard to know where to start when introducing others to the idea of fountain pens.

Recently we’ve been asked this question by our customers, β€œWhat’s the best way to introduce others to fountain pens?” It got us thinking, so we decided to ask the same question on our Facebook page to learn how you all introduce friends and family to fountain pens. Many of our fountain pen fans chimed in with their ideas – thank you! I read through all of your tips, and came up with 5 things to keep in mind when introducing others to fountain pens.

1. Maybe it’s best to start with a rollerball.

You want to introduce people to fountains pens, so why start with a rollerball? For some people, the thought of writing with a fountain pen feels foreign or antiquated. Try introducing them to a rollerball first! This could be the gateway to the enhanced writing experience that just might get them to try a fountain pen. Take a tip from an expert – our very own Brian Goulet started with rollerballs!

2. Share with people what it is that you like about fountain pens. Have some reasons in mind!

If I tell someone that I write with a fountain pen, chances are people follow up asking me why. Let people know what caused you to get interested in and continue using fountain pens. I usually share that I enjoy the different nib options, the increased ease in writing, and the hundreds of ink choices available!

3. Let them try one! 

You don’t have to hand over your Pilot Falcon or your Lamy 2000, but help them understand how a fountain pen works. Do you remember the first time you wrote with a fountain pen? Hopefully that experience encouraged you to learn more, and this will have the same impact on others.

4. Embrace conversations with people who notice your pen.

Maybe you’re using your fountain pen at the office or while sitting at your favorite coffee shop on a Saturday morning. Most people don’t see fountain pens that often, so if someone notices your pen, strike up a conversation! You might discover another enthusiast or introduce someone to your hobby.

 5. If you feel comfortable, gift them their first fountain pen! 

Many of my close friends have recently received a Platinum Preppy or a Pilot Varsity from me! (Another favorite gift of mine to give is the Pilot Metropolitan.) These are great low investment gifts to help introduce friends to writing with a fountain pen. Trust me, getting to be a part of someone owning their first fountain pen is pretty cool. I often get text messages when friends have used their pen to write or sign something important to them, and I got to be a part of that!

There you have it! Have you introduced a friend to fountain pens?

What tip would you add to this list? I’d love to know your thoughts, so be sure to leave a comment below.

Write on,
Margaret

2017-10-11T14:09:36+00:00 August 19th, 2015|A Goulet Life, Tips & Tricks|20 Comments
  • Chad Trent

    Excellent post. I carry several Pilot Varsitys with me every day for just such a reason. They aren’t made of expensive materials, so they feel more like the pens people are used to writing with which makes them less nervous to try it. And, if they like it, they can just keep it.

    • Madigan

      Hey Chad! What an awesome idea! It’s also great that you give away your pens. How generous! πŸ™‚

  • Adilson Carvalho

    My penvangelism happened because a guy in the office got amused that fountain pens could be handy to use as I always used one on any meeting I attended. He asked to try and then he purchased two at once and many ink samples πŸ™‚

    • Madigan

      Nice Adilson! What pen were you using? πŸ™‚

      • Adilson Carvalho

        TWSBI 580AL and a Pilot Falcon

  • Freddy

    My way is a little bit different. I am on a couple of somewhat small traditional wet shaving sites. Both have an area for writing instruments and I am always talking up fountain pens. While there are many on those sites who are already fountain pen enthusiasts, there are quite a few who are curious and ask for recommendations. While I always suggest a look at Goulet Pens (because your reference library has grown large and is easily accessed as well as seeing reviews and being able to purchase), I have been able to send a few interested parties school fountain pens that I picked up in Scotland. I had about a dozen and they cost only GBP 50p (USD 78Β’) apiece, as seen in the very poor photo, and include a cartridge with black or blue ink. I would send them, free of charge, to the folks who seemed most interested, either for themselves, spouses, or children and quite a few have gone on from there. It has been very gratifying to chat with these folks after they have had a chance to use them and begin to branch out, even though I have not met any of them.

    • Madigan

      Hi Freddy! Wow! It’s incredible that you share your love with people you meet on forums. It’s so nice to hear that your point them to our site for all our resources. We work really hard to help educate everyone about how awesome fountain pens are and it sounds like you do too! πŸ™‚

  • Violet B

    I gave a few of my friends Pilot Ergonomic pens because they have tiny handwriting and I thought they might enjoy the Japanese EF nibs. This turned out to be true and I have three converts to chat with about different pens, kinds of nibs, ink samples, favorite paper, and so on.

    My second way to introduce people to fountain pens is to let them try a Lamy I carry just for sharing, as the nib is a little large for my own day to day use. It has a nice heft, it writes smoothly, and they don’t find it intimidating. There’s an assumption that fountain pens have to be luxury items, so it’s a great first step to show that fountain pens are for everyone.

    • Madigan

      Hey Violet! Fantastic idea. I’ve tried to turn most of my family on to fountain pens. My husband loves his Monteverde Regatta Sport now. It’s nice to have people who understand what you are talking about around. Good call on carrying the Lamy! πŸ™‚

  • Tom Johnson

    Margaret, this is a great article with great ideas. In public I’m often using one of my Vanishing Points and I don’t think many people can see the tiny nib well enough to see that it is a fountain pen, they probably think it is an expensive gel pen. I gave a friend a Varsity and he uses it once in a while but has not taken the plunge. One thing that appeals to me a lot when writing with a fountain pen (when the angle is right) is seeing the gleam of the liquid ink left behind as I write and seeing the very rich color of the ink picked up by the paper as it dries. I’m also drawn by the fact that a properly tuned fountain pens works with only the barest contact with the paper, gliding over the surface so smoothly. Thanks so much for putting this together for us.

    • Hi Tom! I’m with you, the smoothness while writing is one of the biggest appeals to fountain pens for me. πŸ™‚

    • Giovanni’s Roomba

      I hadn’t thought about it, but you’re right: seeing the shine of the fresh wet ink on the page really is one of the joys of writing with a fountain pen, then watching it disappear and maybe develop shade in an unpredictable way. The ease of a ballpoint pen with the sensual pleasures of a dip pen: the best of both worlds!

  • Giovanni’s Roomba

    I always have three or more fountain pens with me, and at least one of them is always an inexpensive “disposable”, a Preppy or a Petit1, but filled with an ink I like (what would I do without syringes?). If I can get someone interested in the idea of a fountain pen, I just give them the disposable and tell them when the ink runs out, they can bring the pen back to me and I’ll refill it. Once you’ve used a fountain pen, even a cheap one (and those two are VERY high quality for the price), it’s hard to go back to a ballpoint.

    • I agree with you @giovannisroomba:disqus, it’s hard to go back once you’ve used a fountain pen. πŸ™‚ And I love your idea to carry those pens with you!

    • Freddy

      That’s a great idea. While I am not overly excited about the Preppy, I love the Petit 1 and think those are fantastic to introduce someone to fountain pens. The two things I am disappointed in about the Petit 1… proprietary cartridges (taken care of with a syringe) and the fact that Goulet Pen Co. doesn’t sell them. πŸ™

  • Craig Windt

    As a high school teacher, I always use fountain pens in class. Students always ask about my pens, why I use them, etc. I’ve turned many students into fountain pen users over the past few years. And I always encourage them to go to Goulet Pens for supplies πŸ˜‰

    • Hi Craig! That’s so great to hear. I wish I had known about fountain pens when I was in school. πŸ™‚

      • Freddy

        Margaret, your not hearing of fountain pens when in high school just lets me know how young you are and how old I am. LOL I bought my first fountain pen while in high school, a Parker 45. The 45s had just come out about the time I got mine, which was 1962 or ’63. Even then, fountain pens had pretty much been taken over by ballpoints. However, I still have that Parker 45 and it is still in working order. I don’t know how many disposable ballpoints have gone into landfills since I purchased that pen but I shudder to think about it.

  • Cathy

    I have just introduced a loved one to fountain pens as he has some health issues that lead to fatigue and cramping of the muscles in his hands. Yet he always insists on using the worst cheap ballpoint pens! He is about to start using his new Kaweco Sport and TWSBI Eco, and I am looking forward to him enjoying this new way of writing.

  • Peter Knightes

    I give away Platinum Preppy FPs, but ask what nib size and color of ink they would like to try. The gift opens the door to a great number of FP questions, answers, and more.