Saturday, April 30, 2016

Newsletter Unsubscribe Woes...

Hi fountain pen friends,

Just a quick update here. We know many of you have been receiving "unsubscribe" emails from our newsletter, without intending to do so.

We are so sorry for this, it's nothing you did wrong. This has been a bug that's been going on ever since we moved to our new site in late 2015, and has truly reared its ugly head in the last week.

Long story short, we have two databases of email addresses - one through our store (gouletpens.com), and the other through our newsletter provider (MailChimp). The two are supposed to speak to each other - if you sign up on the store, you're added to the newsletter list, or if you unsubscribe through email, it should update the record in the store. But for some reason, this database sync hasn't been working properly, and it's been elusive to our developers to figure out where and why it's happening. Sometimes the unsubscribe email comes through after you place an order on the store; other times (this week especially) it is at seemingly random times.

Our web developers have been actively looking into it, especially this week. The high volume from the Dark Lilac release seemed to cause more issues. And unfortunately in my attempt to help (I ran an action to re-sync the two databases yesterday), I may have made the problem worse, as apparently thousands of you got the unsubscribe email in the last 24 hours or so. Sigh.

We've escalated the issue again to the developers, and they're working on it. The most unfortunate thing is that if you get the unsubscribe email and try to click to resubscribe through it, it's only updating the information in one place, and the issue may happen again!

The best thing you can do, if you've gotten an unsubscribe email and you didn't intend to be unsubscribed, is to send an email to newsletter@gouletpens.com. Please include your full name and email address. We'll be able to add you back to both databases from our side, and hopefully it won't happen again. And if it does, please let us know too so we can try to figure out why it's happening!

Again, we are so very sorry for the inconvenience we've caused you. We're doing everything we can to try to restore everyone back to the list and prevent this from happening again. We so very much value your newsletter subscription and your support of our business.

Rachel Goulet

Friday, April 29, 2016

Goulet Q&A Episode 121, 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 episode, I talk about why you would ever need more than two fountain pens, if legal pads ruin your nibs, and what I do to prevent getting scammed!

New/Upcoming Products - (3:21)

Pens/Writing - (9:11)

1) @Tudor109- Twitter - (9:17)
What is the justification for owning more than 2 fountain pens? Love them, want more, but can't justify the $
  • You’re asking the wrong guy (or maybe, exactly the right guy!) 
  • It’s the same reason you justify owning more than 2 of anything beyond just its basic function 
  • bottom line, you just love it and that’s all the justification you need 
  • for me personally, it’s entertainment, personal enjoyment, maybe a little bit of brag factor (esp on social media), collectibility, and a bit of incentive/reward for goal achievement 
  • some people may actually “need” multiples, for different colors of ink loaded up at once (teachers, writers, cartoonists, etc) 
  • others may just collect them, like stamps, coins, dolls, whatever 
  • there’s a historical component, especially with vintage pens 
  • there’s certainly a social component, especially when you get into collecting, repair, etc

2) Hugh C.- Email - (16:45)
I have been eyeing the Kaweco AL-Sport because it seems like a durable pen that would easily survive my pocket or bag. However, I was wondering how well you think it would survive in a drop test sort of scenario. My TWSBI Eco had survived drops, but it has a lot of ugly scratches to show it. I am a student who can be very clumsy and drop things, so I would want to get a pen that would be a one-time purchase because of durability. My friend has the VERY durable Karas Kustoms Fountain K, except I think the AL-Sport looks a lot cooler, and would rather buy that.
  • I haven’t thrown this across the parking lot yet (though I’m tempted to!) like the Karas Custom 
  • I think it’d hold up really well, it’s solid metal 
  • The Eco is plastic, so of course it will scratch 
  • The coated ones (like the black or blue) will scratch, the brass or Raw one will hold up best 

Ink - (21:26)

3) John S.- Facebook - (21:30)
In your opinion, what's the best bottle of ink to put on my desk at work to say bam! I use fountain pens

Paper - (25:06)

4) Julian M.- Facebook - (25:07)
Will I ruin the smoothness of my nib by writing on paper of lesser quality (e.g. legal pads)?
  • technically, yes! 
  • Will it happen soon enough for you to notice? Probably not 
  • paper is abrasive, and will wear down the hard tipping of a nib over time 
  • the rougher the paper, the faster it’ll wear down the tip 
  • You might be talking about 10 years instead of 15 (with heavy use), or something like that 
  • all in all, it’s not significant enough of a factor to be the sole reason to change your paper, it’s more important that you enjoy the feel and the look of the ink on the page 

Business - (29:30)

5) poundcakeshuffle- YouTube - (29:33)
I see scams posted on YT, for example someone purchases a $400 tablet and returns it. The seller receives back a $175 tablet that is broken as the return. My question is what is your company's return/exchange/credit policy and how does your company protect itself from scams?
  • We have our return policy updated on our site, just in case you’re watching this later and we’ve changed anything, so check there first 
  • 90-day returns, for whatever reason 
  • full reimbursement on new condition products, just get it back to us 
  • we cover shipping if it’s our mistake, a defect, or damaged in transit 
  • if you ink up your pen we’ll still take it, minus 10% for cleaning/restocking fee (we have to discount it at that point, too, since it’s not new anymore) 
  • no returns on used ink or paper, or closeout/bottom shelf items (some exceptions) 
  • bottom line, we’re pretty easy to work with 
  • Trust is our currency…this community is really great, and for the few times we might be taken advantage of, we more than make up for it with the speed and ease of trust 
  • we do get frauded up front, that some with the turf 
  • we have an enterprise-level fraud detection system in place which helps, but inevitably there are some bad people out there 
  • it’s not enough to really stress about, otherwise I’d be paranoid and treat everyone like a thief and I just can’t live like that! 

6) Kevin G.-Facebook - (35:27)
How "aware" are you of other retailers around the world? (Not in like an espionage way) What I mean is, do you do research on them and see what they carry and their strategies? would you avoid a product if you know there lots of retailers carrying it already; would you go for a product because you know not many other retailers have them?
  • I’m generally aware, but I don’t spend any significant amount of my time watching what anyone else does 
  • most of my feedback comes from the community! people asking us to carry things, telling us where else they see it 
  • I can’t place my finger on most retailers’ strategies, I’d have to make a lot of assumptions there and it wouldn’t do me a lot of good because I’d rather focus on my strengths and what makes sense for my company 
  • when it comes to carrying a product though, I will definitely consider it if others aren’t carrying it 
  • that’s a double-edge sword though: sometimes no one carries something because it’s new or undiscovered, sometimes it’s because there’s no demand for it an no one cares! 

Troubleshooting - (45:22)

7) Beth S.- Facebook - (45:23)
When filling a converter via the ink syringe method, I find that it takes a long time and can be difficult to get the ink started. Any tips on how to get writing more quickly and easily?
  • That’s because the feed isn’t primed, it’s the same way with a new cartridge 
  • try dipping the nib in the bottle to get it going 
  • force ink down the feed with the converter 

QOTW: What is your live video streaming channel of choice? With Katch.me winding down, Periscope plateauing a bit, Facebook Live now available, and YouTube streaming available, there are several avenues for streaming video. Which have you used and prefer? - (50:25)

Thanks so much for joining me this week! You can catch up on any old Q&A videos you missed here.

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Platinum Blue Black: Ink Review

Hey guys! Jenni here. This week, I am taking a closer look at my most recent Monday Matchup ink, Platinum Blue-Black. If you read the blog for Monday Matchup, you know just how much I love the April rain. I wanted to pick a match that would be well suited for a dreary downpour, while still being light and fun, so I paired a Monteverde Limonada in Milano Black with Platinum Blue-Black. The ink was everything I wanted and more. Its subtle blue hues mixed with its light shading gives this ink a little something extra when compared to other blue black inks. Read on to learn more about this modern iron gall, water resistant ink!

Supplies Used:

Smear Test (Dry Time):
  • Slow -  If you are a fan of fast drying inks, this one might not be the one for you. This ink has a dry time of over 30 seconds. When testing the ink, I found that I had to be pretty careful not to smudge or smear the ink as I was waiting for it to dry. Left handed side writers beware! You may have some trouble using this ink because of the long dry time. 
    Drip Test (Water Resistance):
    • High - Water will wash away some of the color from the page when it is applied but it is still considered a water resistant ink. Your writing will still be readable, but might be a little lighter than when you first applied it to the page. 
    • Low - If you are going for a brighter blue hue of this ink, make sure you put a lot of it down on the page. This inks saturation is quite low. When using thinner nibs, you will most likely see a lighter, paler version of the ink. When using broader nibs, it will produce a richer, deeper color that resembles more of a royal blue than a black.  

    Ease of Cleaning:
    • Hard- This ink is a modern iron gall ink. Iron gall inks can be harder to clean because of the wear and tear they can take on nibs and other parts of the pen. If the ink is cleaned out often, you should be fine, but take care not to leave it in your pen for extended periods of time. 
    • Medium - I found that this ink does come with some shading but you see it most when using thinner nibs. In broader nibs, the shading is a lot less noticeable because you are putting down more ink throughout more of the writing. With thinner nibs, you can see the ink pooling up in parts of the letters, creating a color variation throughout the lines. 
    • Medium - I was able to use this ink in two different pens and I found the flow to be different with each one. In the Limonada, I found that this ink had some hard starts and skipping but once I used some pressure in the pen, it flowed seamlessly. In the Lamy Al-Star (M), the flow was much more consistent but it seemed a bit dry. When using a broader nib on the Lamy, the flow was wonderful and didn't seem quite as dry writing as it did with the Medium nib.

    Packaging and Aesthetics:
    • Rounded 60ml glass bottle with squared off bottom. 
    • Bottle has a medium sized opening that is easy to fill from. 
    • Bottle comes with an inkwell inside for easy filling. Flip the bottle upside down to fill the inkwell, then fill your pen from inside the inkwell to get every last drop out of the bottle. 
    • Also available in cartridges and 2ml ink samples. 
    Inks similar in color:

    There aren't too many inks that are the exact hue of this subtle blue black but you can get the same deep blue results with all of these similar choices!

    This subtle shade of blue works in so many environments! It is safe for work, safe for play, and safe for the everyday. Just remember that you may need to clean it out more often than some of your other inks because it is an iron gall. If you've been wondering what a modern iron gall ink is like, but been too scared of what it will do to your pen, this one might be a great first one to try.

    I really enjoyed writing with this ink and experiencing all the little quirks about it. It gives a little bit of shading, is water resistant, and can range in color from a light pale blue to a deep royal blue. What's not to like?

    You can find a 60ml bottle of Platinum Blue Black available for $20, a pack of cartridges for $7, and a 2ml ink sample available for $1.55 at Gouletpens.com.

    Do you prefer your inks to be subtle and quiet or vibrant and bold? Comment below with your favorite inks for both.

    Write on,

    Thursday Things: Lilac and Gold

    Purple and gold fountain pens, paper, and ink products neatly arranged in a flat lay with lilac flowers.

    The day that many have been waiting for since the 2016 Special Edition Lamy Safari color was announced (maybe even before that for some purple fans out there) has finally arrived! The Lamy Safari Dark Lilac has taken the Goulet Pen Company by storm. Our website and office were a flurry with the release on Tuesday and we have channeled that excited frenzy into this week's Thursday Things. This week's collection is a wonderful menagerie of Lilac and Gold pens and inks that mimic the excitement we've all shared over this gorgeous special edition pen and ink. 

    Featured products clockwise:
    Check out our shopping guide here to shop the complete list of these products.

    Want to catch up on past Thursday Things collections? Check out our Thursday Things library

    Pearlized Purple Edison Nouveau Premiere fountain pen neatly arranged in a flat lay with lilac flowers.
    Edison Nouveau Premiere Fountain Pen – Pearlized Purple
    Gold Karas Kustoms Ink fountain pen neatly arranged in a flat lay with lilac flowers.
    Karas Kustoms Ink Fountain Pen – Gold
    Lamy Safari Dark Lilac fountain pen neatly arranged in a flat lay with lilac flowers.
    Lamy Safari Fountain Pen - Dark Lilac
    Purple Pilot Vanishing Point Decimo fountain pen neatly arranged in a flat lay with lilac flowers.
    Pilot Vanishing Point Decimo Fountain Pen - Purple
    Purple and gold fountain pens, paper, and ink products neatly arranged in a flat lay with lilac flowers.

    What's your go to purple or gold ink and pen pairing? 

    Write on,
    The Goulet Pen Company Team

    Wednesday, April 27, 2016

    Atlanta Pen Show 2016 Recap

    The last several years we've been asked to go to various pen shows across the US. We attend the DC show every year because it's close to us, and we've never been to any other show. This year we decided to go to the 2016 Atlanta show which was from April 15-17, and we're really glad we did.

    The reason we decided to go was because of the Pen Addict 200th episode, with Myke Hurley coming over from the UK to record the podcast with Brad Dowdy of Nock Co. and Ana Reinert of The Well Appointed Desk. It's not often we have the opportunity to hang out with our fellow fountain pen bloggers and podcasters like this, so we reached out to Brad Dowdy to see if he'd be interested in hanging out a bit. We asked about doing video interviews in the style of the Goulet Guest videos we did with Liz Steel and Kara Benz of BohoBerry, except in person instead of over Skype! Once Brad and everyone else agreed to interview, we knew we had something good going.

    We were at the show for the full three days, and ended up with a lot of wonderful highlights. Here are some we got to experience:

    We were booked solid for this whole weekend, and came back pretty exhausted because we wanted to spend every waking minute maximizing our time in Atlanta. In the end, it was an incredibly rewarding and fruitful trip for us, and we're so glad we went. We'll be sharing the video interviews we did over the next 6-8 weeks as we edit them. Thanks to all who helped us make this weekend possible, especially our videographer Jenni, who is often unseen behind the camera but is an essential part of making videos like these possible!

    We'd love to hear what you think, and what your experience was like at this show (or any others you've been to). Leave us a comment below!

    Write On,
    Brian and Rachel Goulet

    Tuesday, April 26, 2016

    Lamy Dark Lilac: Ink and Paper Pairings

    Hi there, fountain pen friends! Madigan here. The elusive purple pen many of you (and myself included) have been anxiously awaiting has finally arrived! I cannot contain my excitement over today's release of the oh-so-beautiful Lamy Safari Dark Lilac. I've fallen in love the gorgeous matte purple body and the black nib and clip. It's the perfect pen to round out my collection!

    One of the great thing about Lamy Safaris is that they are great for everyone, from beginners to fountain pen experts. Lamys are work horses- perfect for long writing sessions and lots of note taking. Swappable nibs make this pen customizable as well.

    You may have been scouring our selection of purple inks at the Swap Shop to find the perfect ink to match this gorgeous pen. Gouletpens.com will, of course, be carrying the gorgeous Lamy Dark Lilac Ink in bottles, ink samples, and ink cartridges. It's a gorgeous deep purple that will fit this pen perfectly. If you want to know more about it before making the purchase, read this excellent Ink Review by Mateusz Pitak.

    Photo and Ink Review by Mateusz Pitak
    I always like to have a couple of different ink options when using a new pen. I've put together some other inks that would look great with this pen. Need a new notebook to coordinate as well? I've taken care of that too. Take a look at my list of coordinating inks, paper, and accessories below to take the guesswork out of getting everything you need to enjoy your new Dark Lilac Safari!

    Top Ink Recommendations:

    1. Diamine Bilberry

    Diamine Bilberry is a deep, dark purple, perfect for pairing with your new Dark Lilac fountain pen. It's well behaved and even has a little bit of sheen when it pools. It also just has a fun name! You can get Diamine Bilberry in a number of sizes, making it great for those who want to commit to a full bottle or just dabble. Find it in a 80ml glass bottle for $14.95, a 30ml plastic bottle for $7.50, or a 2ml ink sample for $1.25 all at Gouletpens.com.

      2. De Atramentis Document Ink Violet

    If you want a more permanent purple ink, the new De Atramentis Document Ink Violet is your best bet! These inks are steadfast, fairly fast drying, and some of my favorite permanent inks around. Fill up your Lamy Dark Lilac with De Atramentis Document Ink Violet to make a perpetual purple writing statement. You can find De Atramentis Document Ink Violet in 35ml bottle for $19.95 or a 2ml ink sample for $1.75 at Gouletpens.com.

      3. Diamine Purple Pazzazz

    If you want that wow factor, ink up your new Lamy Dark Lilac with Diamine Purple Pazzazz! This ink is a deep purple with a zing of glittering gold. It's ideal for letting your writing shimmer and shine this spring. Get yours at Gouletpens.com in a 50ml bottle for $20 or a 2ml ink sample for $1.75.

    There is a reason that Noodler's Black is our best selling ink. Not only is it bulletproof (meaning water resistant and laser proof, you know, just in case you need that), it has great flow, is fairly feathering resistant, and is just an all around great ink. It would also match the clip and nib on the Lamy Dark Lilac perfectly. Noodler's Black is available in a large 4.5oz bottle for $18, a 3oz bottle for $12.50, or a 2ml ink sample for $1.25.

      5. De Atrementis Document Ink Black

    De Atramentis Document Ink Black is probably my favorite black in. It's fairly quick drying, waterproof and has great flow. It is a little more expensive than the Noodler's Black above, but if you are going to be using your new Lamy Dark Lilac for sketching, I highly suggest giving De Atrametnis Document Ink Black a try. It's available in a 35ml bottle for $19.95 and a 2ml ink sample for $1.75 at Gouletpens.com.

      6. Diamine Golden Sands

    This is my contrasting ink suggestion! Purple and yellow are complimentary colors on the color wheel. Most yellow inks are somewhat hard to read in my opinion, but Diamine Golden Sands has a shimmer that makes it pop from the page. I love this ink so much I even did a Monday Matchup and Ink Review on it! If you're looking for an ink that will stand out in your ink window, try this one. You can find Diamine Golden Sands at Gouletpens.com in a 50ml bottle for $20 or a 2ml ink sample for $1.75.

    If none of these are doing it for you, give the Ink Sample Package- Bold Purples a try! It contains 8 of our top selling bold purple ink samples for $9.55.

    Top Paper Recommendations:

    1. Rhodia No.16 Dotpad

    A Rhodia No.16 Notepad is a staple for fountain pen users. In fact, the first notebook I was handed when I walked into Goulet! The dot grid makes it great for sketching out ideas or simply writing in straight lines. The paper quality is fantastic for the price. Additionally, the black cover will go perfectly with the black trim on the Dark Lilac fountain pen. You can find the Rhodia No. 16 Dotpad at Gouletpens.com for $5.75.

    2. Rhodia Rhodiarama Notebooks

    Another great Rhodia option is the Rhodia Rhodiarama notebooks. While I'd personally go with one of the purples to match the Dark Lilac, some of the other colors like the light blue and brown, could really make the pen pop. These notebooks all come with lined pages of premium Rhodia paper, which is smooth slightly off white and incredible for fountain pens.

      3. Leuchtturm1917 Notebooks

    I love Leuchtturm1917 Notebooks! It matches paper quality with portability. The numbered pages and table of contents at the front make it easy to find what you're looking for without tabs. The colors are also stellar. I can see the purple being a fantastic match for the Dark Lilac, but it might be fun to go with a black or yellow for contrast. You can find the Leuchtturm1917 notebooks in Medium for $19.50 and Large for $29 at Gouletpens.com.

    4. Maruman Mnemosyne Notebooks

    Maruman Mneomosyne Notebooks are another fantastic paper option for the Dark Lilac. Great paper quality available in several sizes and portrait and landscape styles. The imagination notebook is a particular favorite of mine- it's perfect for sketching. You can find this line of notebooks at Gouletpens.com ranging from $2-$13 depending on the size. 

    Are you going to be getting the Dark Lilac? What ink and notebook will you be using with it? Let me know in the comments below!

    Write on,

    Monday, April 25, 2016

    Lamy Safari Dark Lilac Delayed...

    Hey fountain pen friends,

    We'll cut to the chase - our shipment of Lamy Safari Dark Lilac (both pens & ink) has been delayed again. We are now expecting our shipment to arrive later this week.

    UPDATE as of 4/26/16!!! The pens arrived today, on 4/26, sooner than we thought after posting this blog post! We have a good stock of pens, but the ink sold out in hours in both bottle and cartridge form. We're told more ink will be available at the end of May, sorry for the shortage :( But the pens we anticipate being well-stocked. 

    We are so sorry for the additional delay - we are as disappointed as you are.

    So what's happening? A series of misfortunate events. Two of our core values are "Be Honest" and "Trust is our currency", so we wanted to be upfront with you and let you in on the situation at hand.
    • We knew this would be a highly anticipated release, so we placed a much larger-than-normal order for these pens. The pens arrived from Germany to the US two weeks ago. Because of the size of our order, it took several extra days for Lamy USA to box and label the pens up for us. They also suffered an internet/power outage which added an extra day before shipment.
    • It finally shipped out last Tuesday. We were originally told the shipment would arrive on Thursday.
    • After the shipment left Texas, the tracking was updated to Friday delivery instead of Thursday. 
    • We called FedEx to see if there was anything they could do to expedite it and get it to us sooner, but once it was on the truck/train, there wasn't much they could do. 
    • On Wednesday, we called FedEx to see if they could at least deliver it on Friday morning (as opposed to Friday afternoon). At that point we learned that it was rescheduled to arrive in Richmond Va. on Sunday, with delivery on Monday. 
    • With that information, we told all of you to expect it to arrive on Monday. 
    • We then called FedEx this morning to see if we could arrange a morning delivery instead of afternoon, and learned that it's still not in Virginia. 
    • As of this morning, our shipment is sitting in a train yard in another state, waiting to be unloaded and put on a truck to Virginia. 
    • Based on where the shipment is, we don't think a delivery tomorrow is realistic; we're now expecting the shipment to arrive here on Wednesday or possibly later in the week. We're hesitant to announce a specific launch date after all of these delays because FedEx hasn't given us a confirmed delivery date yet.
    We are so very sorry for continuing to push out the launch date. We've done everything we can to try to get these pens to you as soon as possible, and sometimes things just don't go according to plan. We know other retailers received their shipments last week, and that's been hard to watch - but we are so very thankful for all of you who are waiting to purchase from us. We're as committed as ever to provide the best level of service that we can.

    We realize this situation may have taken some withdrawals out of your trust bank with us. We felt the right thing to do was to continue to be honest and share all of this information with you. 

    So if you are still waiting patiently to purchase from us, we thank you for waiting another several days. Our team really appreciates your support!

    Write On,
    Brian & Rachel Goulet

    De Atramentis Petrol with a Platinum Balance Green: Monday Matchup #92

    Hi, everyone! My name is Lydia. I'm a Community Coordinator here at Goulet and I'm super excited to share my first Monday Matchup with you.

    To preface this piece, I must admit that I am OBSESSED with Gone With The Wind. I've read the book countless times and watched the movie even more than that. I have a pretty detailed mental history of the movie production and all it's hiccups. I even went so far as to get a tattoo directly snatched from a scene in the movie. I simply cannot get enough of Scarlett O'Hara and her saga of a life. As Timothy Dalton said, "it's a soap opera in all its glory. It is superb and memorable." So, naturally, I drew Monday Matchup inspiration from a source I knew well.

    I chose the Platinum Balance Green and De Atramentis Petrol to pay homage to my favorite heroine. This pen and ink both reminded me of Scarlett O'Hara's famous curtain dress and I knew in that moment exactly what my matchup was going to feature. I decided that the first line of the novel was a super fitting way to sum up the character of Scarlett in a few short lines. I also wanted to do a bold design of some sort so I took inspiration from a past craft project I did (my hand painted cornhole game boards) and decided to go with a silhouette of Scarlett and Rhett. 

    I grabbed a sheet of the Tomoe River paper and started outlining my silhouette and mocking up the quote in pencil. I really liked the way I had it all laid out so I got to work outlining everything with the pen. I got about halfway through the quote and disaster struck. I am left handed so I have to be extra careful not the smudge things as I write. Unfortunately, I got a little too close to an especially juicy letter and smudged the ink all over the line I was working on. So I had to start over. The second time around, I decided to free hand the middle two lines of the quote and try not to replicate my oopsie with the tracing. It went much smoother that time. I then set my sights on my silhouette. I outlined it, then attacked the shading in batches, coloring in a small block at a time and then leaving it to dry for a few minutes before coming back to do a new part. Overall, I'm very happy with the way it turned out. 

    I really liked this pen. It had a good, solid weight to it but it wasn't too heavy, just enough to feel it in my hand and not feel like I had to be super gentle with it. The ink was nice and wet. My lefty-ness aside and minus the fact that I was doing a highly saturated design, the petrol ink was fantastic and well behaved. Once I got a feel for how the ink flowed and worked with the paper, it was much easier to anticipate and work with the ink. I LOOOOOOOVE the color and it shades very nicely. I think this ink would be good for letter writing for sure. It is not hard on the eyes but is still a fun change up from everyday ink choices. It could be fun to use for note taking as well. 

    If I were to do this again, I would probably play around with the ink just a little more before starting my drawing to get a feel for the wetness and avoid the smudging fiasco. I also might be a little more intentional about my spacing and word placement so I wouldn't run out of space. All in all, I'm super happy with how my drawing turned out and I love this ink and pen match up. They were so fun to work with.

    You can find the Platinum Balance Green at Gouletpens.com for $43.20. De Atramentis Petrol ink is available in 2 ml ink samples for $1.30 or 35 ml bottles for $12.95.

    Have you ever tried a pen or ink because it reminded you of a favorite piece of pop culture? Let us know in the comments below!

    Write on,

    Friday, April 22, 2016

    Changes to Visconti Advertised Pricing

    Hi fountain pen friends!

    Just a super quick FYI for you today. Due to a recent change in Visconti's advertised pricing policy, we have changed how our "best price" is made available on our website for our Visconti fountain pen offering. Visconti does not allow any public advertising below the full list price, but does allow us to offer you our best price through other means.

    We previously had a feature where you just added the pen to your cart to see the best price. This is no longer allowed, so after some brainstorming and working with our web developers and Visconti, we came up with a new solution that we just rolled out.

    Now, all you have to do is log into your gouletpens.com account on our store, and you'll automatically see our best price. Don't have an account? It's free and super easy to set up - just go to our store and click "Sign Up" at the top. P.S. While you're there, consider signing up for our weekly email newsletter!

    We understand this is a bit of a change from what you may be used to, so if you accidentally check out with the full list price, you can shoot us an email and we'll adjust it for you.

    If you have any questions, please post in the comments below or feel free to email us.

    Write On,
    Rachel Goulet

    Goulet Q&A Episode 120, 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 episode, I talk about the Atlanta Pen Show, Edison nibs, and whether my being so involved in Goulet branding is helping or hurting?

    New/Upcoming Products - (7:00)

    Pens/Writing - (8:04)

    1) @_althaven- Twitter - (8:12)
    What pens did @BrianGoulet_ purchase for himself at the Atlanta Pen show?
    • Diplomat pens
    • Fountain Pens of the World and Fountain Pens of Japan Andy Lambrou books
    • Michael Sull Spencerian script books, DVD’s, nib holder

    2) Yoo-Jin Baik- YouTube - (17:27)
    One of the things that I really like about your site is the "Refine" tool that lets me easily narrow my search. But one thing I notice is that you guys don't really have a "transparent" or "translucent" pen body choice in the refine menu (correct me if I am wrong). Many of my pens are demonstrators and I really love them--but sometimes, it is hard to catalog them. I know you guys have "clear" option, but that does not include demonstrators with a tinted body. Have you ever thought about adding this option to your site?
    • We could certainly do this, technically
    • The hard part is the judgment about when something is “translucent”
    • We haven’t really talked about it, but I’d love feedback

    3) Michael P.- Facebook - (20:42)
    This question went unanswered a few weeks ago but I'll pose it again. What would explain line variation between my Vac-700, Diamond 580 and Eco. All three with the same ink, on the same paper with EF nibs leave varied line width. Does the nib size have an effect because the Vac-700 with the #6 nib writes significant wider than the EF on the 580 and Eco.
    • these 3 pens all use different sized nibs
    • Vac-700 is #6
    • 580 is #5
    • Eco is #4
    • it’s not that the larger the nib, the broader the writing, that may be the case here but it’s not a steadfast rule
    • it also has to do with the feed, these all use different feeds
    • EF nibs in particular will see more variation, partly because it’s thinner and has less tolerance, partly b/c finer nibs require more handwork and are less forgiving

    4) Stacey W.- Facebook - (27:50)
    Need some help! LOVE the new Water Lily Edison, but have never owned an Edison pen. I like a smooth nib, which one should I choose? Can you describe the Edison nibs a little bit? Thanks!
    • Edison calls their nibs “smooth with a hint of feedback”
    • the broader you go, the smoother it will be
    • Jowo makes their nibs, same as Goulet
    • Jowo makes really good stuff, and these are some of the best writing steel nibs you’ll find today
    • Even Mike Masuyama complimented Jowo nibs when we were talking in Atlanta
    • they are still though, and really a true European nib in terms of writing line

    Ink - (31:01)

    5) Kate S.- Facebook - (31:01)
    Sometimes when using a cartridge it takes so long for the ink to get through the feed and into the nib. I tried squeezing the cartridge but the plastic is too dense. Aside from shaking the pen (which could result in a mess), what other options do I have?
    • you don’t want to shake it like a Polaroid picture
    • shaking is the most effective thing, hold it in your hand (with the nib up by your knuckles) and hit your hand on the table
    • you can also just let it sit for a while, 5-10 minutes
    • or you could switch to bottled ink!

    Business - (35:06)

    6) Nelson- Blog - (35:11)
    This is a two-part business question for the weekly Goulet Q&A: When you're "assessing honestly" the company's social media strategy, do you ever worry that the company is too personality driven and dependent on you, or rather the public persona that you've developed over the years?

    Isn't it silly to just cancel a Q&A if you get sick, go on vacation or, one day, just burn out and don't feel like recording a video? Wouldn't it be wiser to have a number of people represent what Goulet stands for rather than just one person -- and then have those people also participate more actively in the branding of the company?
    • SUCH a great question
    • this is absolutely something that I think about a lot
    • on one hand, I receive a lot of feedback and really get a lot of motivation from the personalized feedback I get (like in Atlanta)
    • I have delegated much, much of what I used to do
    • one of the last things I’ve been holding on to is being the “Goulet” personality, partly because I know how tied in it is to our brand equity
    • I have definitely opened up to others shooting videos, sometimes as guests, other select times in place of me
    • Part of it is just that video is not for everyone, it’s harder than it looks
    • I’ve been leaning on Drew lately for a couple of videos, may do more of that as it makes sense to
    • Most other companies don’t have their CEO involved in as much of the marketing as I am, but we’re not most other companies
    • I really enjoy it, I’m good at it, the company has been built around it, and it’s really working well
    • If I was looking to exit anytime soon, sure, it’d be an issue, but I’m not looking to go anywhere
    • that said I will certainly be thinking about opportunities and contingencies for the future, as a businessman I have to

    7) Nelson- Blog - (47:17)
    When you watch your older blog posts, do you notice that you've changed in the sense that you've adopted a public persona? We all love the blogs for your sincerity and obvious passion for fountain pens, but do you ever catch yourself thinking, ""OK! It's time for another video -- time to put on 'Brian Goulet' cape and cowl'?
    • I certainly have changed since the beginning! Part of that is just going from 25 to 32, from no kids to 2 kids, yeah I’ve changed
    • When shooting a video I do adjust some of the way I talk just so that I enunciate clearly and don’t use a lot of slang and things that folks wouldn’t understand
    • otherwise, it’s really just me there
    • part of the benefit of having my name in the company is I have extra accountability to whatever I say
    • the passion you see is real, the only things I’ve ever “faked” have been the REALLY over-the-top vids like the various traveling videos, and shading inks, and those are so clearly acted
    • I really don’t have a persona, especially in Q&A
    • anyone who’s met me in person can say I look and talk just like I do in the videos

    QOTW: Do you feel that Goulet is too tied in to my personality? If I were to bring in others to record videos, (assuming content still remains solid) would that be welcomed or would you not like that as much? - (52:20)

    Thanks so much for joining me this week! You can catch up on any old Q&A videos you missed here.
    Write On,
    Brian Goulet

    Thursday, April 21, 2016

    The 5 Best Pens for your Mom (and one amazing gift set!)

    Celebrating Mother's Day can get complicated as you (and your mother) get older. Celebrations that used to include breakfast-in-bed and handmade cards on construction paper become things of the past. However, the connection between you and your mother never gets old. What better way to honor her than to strike up a written correspondence?

    Communication can take many forms -- visits, phone calls, texts, letters. But it is this last one, handwritten letters, that can still foster a feeling of connection that surpasses space and time. Simply seeing a loved one's scrawl across a page can give us a sense of presence, security, and even hope. Mothers also have wonderful wisdom to share, so encourage yours to write it down!

    Here is a suggested list of the 5 best pens for any type of mom in your life and an amazing gift set that will be sure to please even the pickiest of mothers.

    The Empty Nester
    Delta Unica Fountain Pen in Fuscia is the perfect pen for this Mom with time to cultivate a new hobby. A solid and stunning writer, this beauty will be helping your mom fill up notebooks in no time. Expect some lengthy letters as well! Available in fine and medium nibs for $76.

    On-the-Go Mom
    The mother in your life is the minivan marathoner! She goes from school to soccer practice to ballet and back home to cook dinner. Get her the ultimate purse pen: the Kaweco Classic Sport Fountain Pen in Bordeaux. It's small stature goes perfectly with its easy cartridge refills. It'll go down smoother than that glass of wine at the end of a hectic day. She's not a burgundy fan? This pen is available in six other colors for $25-$27.

    Working Mom
    She's killing it at home and in the board room! The Pilot Metallic Vanishing Point Fountain Pen in Tropical Purple shows off its beauty while simultaneously broadcasting its practicability. Even Rachel Goulet, our own working mom, considers this her favorite. Available with nibs extra-fine to broad for $140.

    New Mom
    She's busy with the new baby and discovering all of the joys of motherhood, from first smiles to first teeth. Help her record this special time with a Monteverde Limonada Fountain Pen in Roma Gold and De Atramentis Document Ink. This ink has archival properties (it's waterproof and won't fade with time) so her memories will last a lifetime. The pen is available in a medium nib for $28, the ink for $18.50.

    Do-It-Yourself Mom
    This mom always has a to-do list a mile long. Whether she's refinishing a table or perfecting her home-made spaghetti sauce, she loves to tinker! She can tackle her writing with gusto using a Noodler's Ahab Flex Fountain Pen - King Philip Purple Demonstrator. Available in a flex nib for $20.

    Last but certainly not least, the Lamy Al-Star & Filofax Notebook Gift Set in Purple is sure to please yours or any mom! Lamy Al-Stars are reliable writers and the Filofax's removable pages make it ideal for organization. Whether running a business or crafting a to-do list, she'll be filling these pages in no time.

    Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there! What pen would you want to receive? 

    Write on,
    The Goulet Pen Company Team

    Thursday Things: Marigolds

    Colorful flat lay of orange and yellow fountain pens, paper, and ink with Marigold flowers.

    Have you been out doing some weekend gardening in the past few weeks? Now that the weather is starting to turn, our thoughts are shifting to the beautiful blooms of the spring flowers in gardens all around us. One of the happiest flowers we could think is the marigold. The little flower with the vibrant, sunshiney yellow and orange blossoms offer an infectious exuberance that is hard to rival. So, for this week's Thursday Things, we wanted to capture the energy of the marigold in all its sunshine loving, springtime merriment.

    Featured products from left to right:
    You can shop all these products in the Thursday Things: Marigold shopping guide here
    Conklin All-American Sunburst Orange in a colorful flat lay of orange and yellow fountain pens, paper, and ink with Marigold flowers.
    Conklin All-American Fountain Pen - Sunburst Orange
    Pilot Vanishing Point Yellow in a colorful flat lay of orange and yellow fountain pens, paper, and ink with Marigold flowers.
    Pilot Vanishing Point Fountain Pen – Yellow
    Lamy Al-Star CopperOrange in a colorful flat lay of orange and yellow fountain pens, paper, and ink with Marigold flowers.
    Lamy Al-Star Fountain Pen - CopperOrange
    Noodler's Neponset Fer deLance Yellow in a colorful flat lay of orange and yellow fountain pens, paper, and ink with Marigold flowers.
    Noodler's Neponset Fountain Pen - Yellow Fer deLance
    Colorful flat lay of orange and yellow fountain pens, paper, and ink with Marigold flowers.

    What is your favorite springtime flower to plant?

    Write on,
    The Goulet Pen Company Team

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