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Friday, September 8, 2017

Goulet Q&A Episode 181: The Goulet Pens Move, Why Some Nibs Don't Swap, and Print vs. Cursive!



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 what it was like to move Goulet Pens, why some pens don't have swappable nibs, and whether print or cursive is better for fountain pens!

The move:
  • The move, obviously a huge huge deal
  • DC pen show happened the weekend before we moved
  • got to meet and interview Jake Weidmann, huge personal high for me
  • met tons of amazing people, it was a pretty big whirlwind
  • the week of the move was simply a blur
  • we'd been planning for 18 months, and it all came down to a couple of days
  • we didn't get our final inspection on our new space until 6 days before we moved!
  • we had a designer, contractor, 3 subs for IT stuff, moving consultant, and moving company
  • we intentionally withheld even mentioning the move until it was all locked in stone
  • original move date was March, then July, then August
  • Weeks prior we were splitting our time between both places, spread very thin
  • our team was simply awesome though, morale was (and is) through the roof
  • the new space is just awesome, it feels so intentional 
  • I will show it in due time, we're waiting on some key design elements to still be installed
  • talked about doing a full tour in Ep 200, which would be middle/end of Jan, kind of a ways away but that'd be latest
Now and the future:
  • Rachel and I took the last week off, pretty much just hit a wall
  • still sorting out how we're doing, but basically the stress and pressure was so great leading up and through the move that we're still coming down off it
  • my weight has hit a new post-weight loss high of 235, and I want to get back on track
  • 205-210 is where I really felt most myself, and I want to get back there
  • we have some new hires that we're looking to bring in, including a videographer
  • we're in-between videographers right now so videos will basically be at a standstill except for Q&A
  • I'm editing Q&A myself so it's going to be very, very minimal
  • please forgive any technical snafus or shortcuts, it's the best we can do for the moment!
  • our kids just started school, and we have both in elementary school now
  • we're feeling a whole lot of feels now, adjusting to a new routine for the Goulet family
Products!

Moving

1) Stu E.- Facebook (42:30)
Did you get a bigger office in the move?
  • yes! the whole office and my own office
  • little Brian's office tour
  • full tour coming down the road

2) lhlvieira- Instagram (46:45)
What are you all loving most about your new space? Is there anything you miss about the old one? Congratulations on what I hope was a smooth move.
  • loving: 
    • more room
    • more intentional design/layout that fits our culture
    • glass in doors
    • sound masking
    • spaces flow together more
    • conveyor
    • all air conditioned
    • clean!
    • all on one level!
    • more bathrooms!
    • nice kitchen!
    • deli on premesis
    • shade and walking areas
    • closer commute for most of our team
  • miss:
    • memories made, Goulet kids were there
    • was closer commute for Goulets
    • closer together, felt scrappier and more intimate
    • cheaper!
    • good landlord


Pens/Writing 
3) dragonflies0210- Instagram (54:28)
Silly question as I am new to the fountain pen world.... do most people print or write in cursive with their fountain pens. Also, is there any potential damage to nibs when printing?
  • It's probably fairly split, I have no real data on who does what
  • I personally felt more inclined to write cursive with FP's
  • cursive definitely takes more advantage of the smooth flowing nature of FP's
  • plenty of people write in block though
  • block print doesn't cause any more damage than any other script, unless you're writing with excessive pressure (but you can do that with any script)

4) mad_betes_312- Instagram (56:18)
Why do some companies design and manufacturer pens without removal, interchangeable nibs I.e. My Pilot Custom Heritage 92. I would use it more often and by numerous other nibs if I had the option but I'll never fork over the money for an identical pen in another nib size. Thx!
  • it's really a matter of the company's preference and what they aim to do with a given pen model
  • Pilot in general doesn't like to do "parts", which makes sense given their size
  • they do VP nib units, though
  • TWSBI is a very small fraction of their size, so they can be more accommodating here
  • it's not super common to have swappable nibs, and I think only fairly recently has nib swapping become more of a trend
  • price point matters a lot, too, swappable nibs are super uncommon with gold nibs like the Custom 92
  • it's a logistical complication for large, especially international companies to pull off
  • I encourage all brands to try to do it if they can! It really helps newer folks getting into the hobby

Business

5) chudfumpy- Instagram (1:00:08)
Hi Brian, with the expansion to larger premises, do you have any aspirations to venture into other fountain pen related products? I recently stumbled across a double ended fountain pen for instance.
  • I'm always looking for fountain pen related products, and a larger space will certainly accommodate more expansion in the future
  • the only double-ended FP's I've seen have been custom (so not available to a retailer like us), but that sounds cool
  • yes, I will definitely look to carry more and cooler stuff!

6) Mike W.- Facebook (1:01:47)
How much business experience did you have before taking the plunge? Did your parents mentor you with their business? Did you learn from all those books, and flying by the seat of your pants? You, Rachel, and the rest of the crew have done a great job of growing your company.
  • I wasn't one of those kids picking flowers out of their neighbors gardens and knocking on their doors to sell them back to them, or anything like that
  • My parents had a business in the house when I was a kid
  • they did it more for lifestyle than from a real, solid economic opportunity
  • they did teach me a lot of principles of working hard, saving money, and seizing opportunities in their business
  • they taught me a lot of really solid principles in life, which I certainly apply to the way I do business
  • "Work Hard, Be Honest, Be Flexible"- came from my parents
  • I did my own sole proprietorship in college to help pay my way through school
  • I 100% learn a lot from the books I read, otherwise I don't waste my time
  • some certainly resonate more than others, some the timing just isn't right or I don't completely see eye-to-eye with the author
  • I read them all for practicality though, and they ALL have to be heavily interpreted into this business and what makes sense
  • there's a pretty hefty amount of flying by the seat of our pants around here, though we spend more time planning than we used to
  • we have more of a history, so that helps, early days was all seat-pants
  • now it's more about spending time creating a vision for the future and building towards it, but there are always audibles to be called along the way

QOTW: Which do you prefer, print or cursive? (1:15:04)

Write On,
Brian Goulet

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