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Friday, July 7, 2017

Goulet Q&A Episode 176, Brian and Rachel Talk Business


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, Rachel and I talk business!

Intro:
  • this is a special "evergreen" episode
  • recorded in advance, differently than our normal weekly Q&A
  • Rachel joins me and we've combed through previous Q&A questions to pull out ones that'd be great for both of us to answer

Business: - (1:21)

1) csfphotoedits - Instagram - (1:22)
After having built such a formidable online presence over the past few years, and becoming a pillar in the fountain pen community, has The Goulet Pen Company considered venturing a bit further and begin attending Pen Shows throughout the Country? What has kept the company from attending previous years?
  • the 2009 DC pen show was impactful for Brian
  • we attended as vendors in 2010, it was just not our thing
  • our focus has been ONLINE, it's in our mission statement
  • "To provide fountain pen enthusiasts with the most personal online shopping experience through comprehensive education, exemplary service, and products we believe in"
  • what we do really love is meeting people face-to-face and talking to them, playing pens
  • we attend DC every year as guests
  • we attended Atlanta last year as guests
  • we have definitely talked about doing more (as guests)
  • travel has been tough with young kids, health issues in our family

2) jeanmarior - Instagram - (9:20)
Do you ever plan on opening a physical store as in having a local?
  • nope! Online is our thing, absolutely no plans in the future for B&M
  • there would be some huge perks to having a physical store, but that's definitely not the way the industry's going
  • we don't live in an area where a physical store would make a ton of sense
  • B&M stores diversify and carry a lot of non-fountain pen products too, and we want to stay focused

3) Sylvia Catalano - YouTube - (12:42)
What are Rachel Goulet's favorite pens?

4) jcoletrain84 - Instagram - (19:15)
Which pens do you love so much that you own multiple of the same model?


5) the_film_darkroom - Instagram - (26:15)
Being a online retailer, having a second site in the U.S. doesn't seem to make so much sense, but would you go through the issues of international trade, doubling stock etc to have an overseas one for quicker shipping etc for that region i.e. in the U.K. or Europe?
  • we're trying to wrap out hands around just one business in the US!
  • going overseas would be literally running an entire new business, in a country we know little about
  • new taxes, regulations, culture, everything
  • likely, we wouldn't be able to charge much less than we do right now shipping directly to these countries b/c of all the additional overhead
  • the upside to us is not enough to overcome the hurdles

6) jacobmm99 - Instagram - (32:07)
When you retire, would you ever think about bringing back some early-Goulet-Pen-Co. pen making skills and craft them as a hobby?
  • who's talking retirement? We're in our early 30's!
  • Brian can't see himself really ever "retiring"
  • Brian definitely has a passion for woodworking and has dreamed of doing that more in some capacity, but the temptation to just kick it all up again into a whole other full time business means it wouldn't ever make sense to do it as a retirement gig
  • it wouldn't be a total shock to do something like this, but it's just not likely to be in the cards in any reasonable timeframe

QOTW: What Brian and Rachel combo questions do you have for us for when we do this again? - (37:53)

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

Write On,
Brian and Rachel Goulet

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