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Friday, August 26, 2016

Goulet Q&A Episode 135, 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 whatever happened to "Ink Nouveau", why people post their pens, and where I see Goulet Pens in 25 years!

New/Upcoming Products: - (1:12)

Pens/Writing - (13:25)

1) Gamaliel D.- Facebook - (13:28)
Could you do a more extensive review about the Pilot Custom 912 in stub nib? 
  • Sure!
  • It's a good size pen, similar to the Custom 823 but lighter
  • Uses a Pilot Con-70
  • nib size is similar to the Custom 74 nib as opposed to the Custom 823
  • all rhodium trim
  • black only
  • This is the pen that Pilot USA has chosen for special nibs like the FA, stub, Waverly, etc
  • the stub here writes a LOT like the Pilot VP stub
  • it's not super crisp, quite rounded
  • it actually writes crisper the steeper you hold it up
  • it gets pretty broad/rounded when you hold it low

2) John Lee-YouTube - (19:12)
Brian, can you talk a little about why people post their pens and what you figure is the percentage of people that do? I just don't get it. Even though its just a little while I have to hear in all pen reviews how well or not a pen posts, when most of the time their either back-weighted, cumbersome, ridiculous, unbalanced, bothersome, or just outright do not fit when posted. So clearly pens are designed to be written unposted, with few exceptions. So why are fountain pen enthusiast, a crowd who go through great lengths and expense to achieve the best writing experience, using their pens in a manner unintended? When in the end, that practice could scratch your pen and laying it out in front of you is much easier than posting. Is it a fear of losing your cap that overrides all the rest?
  • I know there's a huge difference between European preference and US preference here
  • I'm a US retailer, so a lot of my customer base is US (though not all)
  • My guess: 80-90% of US posts their pens
  • probably the opposite in Europe and Asia
  • A lot of our brands are European-based, so they make the pens without posting top-of-mind
  • Most Americans love posting their pens, I can't really tell you why!
  • I know I go back and forth
  • a lot of times I'll post because it is actually more comfortable for me, but I have large hands with long fingers
  • this is really curious!

3) j1448- Instagram - (28:01)
Hi Brian, I have a friend who loves their Pilot Plumix- but when I saw her using it for the first time, I had no idea what it was. Turns out, it's a pretty good pen but everyone seems overlook it (I think it's because the Metropolitan is so popular.) In your opinion, what are the 5 most underrated fountain pens?

4) Curtis F.- Facebook - (38:29)
I really like the look of some of Noodler's Ebonite pens, especially the new civil war ones. However, I am not that interested in a flex pen, at least I think. Is there a "standard" nib/nib unit that can be changed if I would get sick of the flex pen part?
  • the new Neponset Ebonites Noodler's just came out with are Civil War themed, yes
  • the Neponset music flex nib is definitely not for everyone
  • the flex is only if you press hard to make it flex, you can write with normal pressure and not flex it
  • that still is a pretty broad line though
  • it can be replaced with a Noodler's non-flex nib, though not super easily
  • Can also fit a Goulet nib, though it's been less consistent with the newer pens

Business - (43:53)

5) La Lynne- Facebook - (43:55) 
Hey Brian, on your YouTube videos (older ones!) you often say 'Goulet pens & ink nouveau' - what was the difference, when did you stop using ink nouveau, were there any benefits of having more than one site, do you still use that name for anything, and did you have any other sites before you settled on the Gouletpens one?
  • when I started out, I wanted to try to have my blog/videos as a separate 'brand' than my website
  • my logic (at the time) was I wanted to have my personal opinions and identity somewhat separated from the store, how ignorant I was!
  • I quickly realized my greatest asset was the personal nature of my videos, and the feedback I'd gain from the community to influence the products I'd carry in the store
  • I quickly regretted having the two separately branded, but co-branded for many years
  • there really were no benefits at all, it was more work and confusing for people to have two completely different brands for similar content!
  • ultimately, the recognition of Goulet far outweighed any affiliation anyone had with Ink Nouveau, so we merged them when we redid our website and blog in 2014
  • hardly anyone said much about the transition, it was very natural
  • we did try a bunch of different names before settling on The Goulet Pen Company
  • first I just went under my name as a sole proprietor
  • the we tried "The Wood Route", everyone pronounced it differently than we intended 
  • We've been The Goulet Pen Company (with gouletpens.com) since January 2009

6) fountainpen.ink- Instagram - (58:24)
Where do you see the company in 25 years? Do you have plans to grow into a massive fountain pen empire?
  • well, we've been around for just under 7 years so far, so it's a bit of a reach to picture 25 years...
  • a very large part of me wants to get deeper and deeper into the fountain pen world, getting into nibs and pen manufacturing and who knows what else by then
  • will it actually happen? It's hard to say
  • the internet itself is only about 25 years old, so whatever we're doing probably won't look that much like what we're doing now
  • I definitely enjoy growing and running this business, and I feel like I'm learning more and getting better at it every day
  • I don't think it'll ever be 'empire' status though, I enjoy being niche
  • Rachel and I have always just wanted to make the most with what we have, and if growth is the consequence of our good decisions and blessings, we will embrace it

Troubleshooting - (01:09:33)

7) _ben_nim_- Instagram - (01:09:36))
I like the Leuchtturm notebooks, especially with the matching Pen Loop. But sadly they are a little tight and won't fit my Vista, Safaris, AL-Stars and TWSBIs. I have a Lamy Logo that fits, but the pen is too narrow for my taste. So what is your recommendation for Pen-Loop-friendly fountain pens? (Or should i just give up and buy a Pilot MR/Metropolitan?)


QOTW: Do you post your pens or not? Why? - (01:16:41)

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

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