Goulet Q&A Episode 229: Conklin Empire, Handwriting Styles, and Surprising Top Sellers

In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks about Conklin Empires, teaching himself new handwriting styles, and what’s surprised him (good and bad) after we’ve started selling it. Enjoy!

This week:


1) mosephus_jenesin- Instagram (9:52)

I think those new Conklin Empire pens are beautiful! However, I can’t seem to find much information about that particular model. Are they eyedropper convertible? How different is the shape, really? Does the magnetic cap stay well? Educate us with your Fountain [pen] of Knowledge.

  • not eyedropper convertible, because of the metal section/threads
  • the shape is pretty unique! Reminds me of a Rocket/Bomb Pop popsicle from when I was a kid
  • magnetic cap is 90% where I want to see it, doesn’t “clack” as loud as I might prefer but others may feel differently
  • ours have #6 Bock nibs, others will have Conklin branded nibs not made by Bock
  • resin is PMMA, which is a higher end injection-molded resin
  • metal grip, which some like, some don’t
  • strong post, lines up when you post it due to the shape
  • strong, solid pen

2) James R.- Facebook (14:57)

Brian, any thoughts of learning other styles of handwriting or will you stick with just what you are comfortable with?

  • I’ve practiced a little bit of American Cursive, Copperplate, Spencerian, but never enough to really “learn it”
  • it all comes down to time, practice, patience
  • “Practice makes progress”, and this is definitely the case for handwriting
  • I just have other priorities right now, I would love to learn more just as I’d love to do woodworking, ride my bike more, etc
  • I’m okay with my handwriting as it is, but certainly have it on my bucket list to become more practiced in formal handwriting

3) kebl93- Instagram (20:48)

Which fountain pen brands/models are “holy grails” for fountain pen lovers/experts/collectors? That is, what pens do they know a lot about and consider “classics” and would spend big money collecting? I’m asking because I’m tempted to start investing on more expensive fountain pens but don’t know where to start looking.

  • it’ll be different for everyone
  • not everyone is oriented towards collecting, certainly
  • there are some who collect knock-off Chinese brands, some who collect pens of certain colors, weird nibs, vintage brands, Safaris, etc
  • Most of the time you think of “holy grails” as being expensive pens, of the higher-end limited edition variety
  • Pelikan, Visconti, Montblanc, Montegrappa, Namiki, Nakaya, Sailor, Danitrio, David Oscarson, Aurora
  • there are surely lots of others, especially vintage but I’ll stop it here before we fall down the rabbit hole!
  • Most of these “grail” pens fall in the $500+ category (or $1000+ let’s be real)

4) William H.- Facebook (25:45)

What is the biggest (and girthiest) pen you own and what is the broadest nib you own?

  • Delta Dolcevita Oversize– girth
  • broadest nib…Pilot Parallel 6.0mm? Not really what you meant, I’m sure
  • of a regular non-stub, it’s probably the Platinum “Course” nib, basically a BBB
  • I honestly don’t have many obscenely broad nibs, but this one’s a gusher


5) Shaun J.- Facebook (28:03)

Any plans for offering a military discount or bulk buying discount for ink samples/paper/whatever?

  • military- that’s been on my mind, we’re looking into ways to manage that, it can be done but it will take some work on our part to sync it up to the military database, gotta have a way to verify
  • bulk discounts is on our developer roadmap, but in the meantime you can always reach out to our team, we’re game for a buy 5 get 5% off, buy 10 get 10% off (usually paper is the only thing people buy in bulk from us)
  • you can always ask for custom requests on bulk orders

6) Ian B.- Facebook (33:35)

Have you ever had a someone suggest you sell a particular item. You did and it became an unexpected hit. Or the opposite did something you though was a “sure thing” end up being a dud. If so what was it?

  • Unexpected hits: Diplomat Magnum, Stipula Tocco Ferros
  • Duds: We’ve overshot our projections before, and analyzed and had a bit of buyer’s remorse, but not on anything that’s been a complete dud, it usually does okay and just not amazing like we’d hoped
  • LAMY AL-Star Matte Black sold amazingly as a special edition, and was much softer when if came back as a regular edition
  • Visconti Homo Sapiens Elegance
  • Stipula Passaporto was hyped for SO long, it was almost impossible to live up to what people were expecting
  • As a caveat, we’re pretty conservative in our approach to new things, so we don’t bet the farm on anything that’s a total gamble

QOTW: What’s your favorite “fall activity”? (45:24)

Writing Prompt: Write about the first scary movie you ever saw. (46:30)

Write On,
Brian Goulet


October 19th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Thursday Things: BENU

The BENU pens have arrived at Goulet Pens! If you are looking for a pen with pizzazz, these are a must see. Whether it’s the sparkling Briolettes or color-shifting Chameleons that catch your eye, these showstopping pens will grab your attention. Despite the lack of clip, you’ll never have to worry about these pens rolling away thanks to the faceted shape. You can also pick up a pen holder to keep your beautiful pen safe. To learn more, be sure to check out Brian and Rachel’s Write Now episode in the blog below.

Featured products from left to right:

Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

October 18th, 2018|Thursday Things|0 Comments

Pilot’s 100th Anniversary $48,000 Pen Set

We have the distinct honor of receiving one of the 25 sets in the world created by Pilot for their 100th Anniversary. The Seven Gods of Good Fortune set is the most expensive and elaborate pen creation Pilot has ever produced at $48,000, and it is so incredible we simply had to produce a video for you. Joining us on this one is John Lane, General Manager of Fine Writing at Pilot Corporation of America. John’s been representing Pilot’s fine writing line for 30 years, and even he is blown away by the artistry and detail on these pens. Watch as we unbox this once-in-a-lifetime set and show every piece included.

If you’re interested in purchasing this set, we’re currently taking requests at info@gouletpens.com.

Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

October 18th, 2018|Pen News, Pen Reviews|0 Comments

Sneak Peek: 2019 LAMY Safari Pastels!

We’re pleased to announce not one, but three new special edition LAMY Safari colors for 2019!

Introducing the LAMY Safari Pastels: Blue Macaron, Mint Glaze, and Powder Rose.

This is the first time (to our knowledge) that there have ever been three colors launched simultaneously as a special edition. These will have silver steel nibs in extra-fine, fine, and medium.

The LAMY Safari Pastels should be arriving to Goulet Pens in May 2019, and will only be available for a limited time.

So what do you think of next year’s colors?

Write On,
Rachel Goulet

October 17th, 2018|Pen News|1 Comment

10 Everyday Uses for a Traveler’s Notebook, Chosen by You!

The Traveler’s Company leather notebooks are a well-loved staple of many fountain pen lover’s everyday carry picks. These cowhide covers are completely customizable and can be adapted to fit any situation where you could use more organization. This much freedom can be a little overwhelming though and the $40-$45 price tag of the Traveler’s Notebook can make it hard to justify without a clear vision of how you’ll utilize it. Fret not, the Goulet Pens team has collected some handy suggestions from fountain pen fans just like you. Read on to hear 10 real-life suggestions for using a Traveler’s Notebook from the Goulet community!

1) Journal/ Passport Cover

2) Every Day Carry Organizer

“My every day carry – planner/calendar insert, sketching/watercolor insert, journaling insert plus spots for stationary,stickers,etc. it’s full up and all gets used!”- @mitziemc

3) Studying a New Language

“I study German, draw, and then journal but have 3 different journal category notebooks because it helps me stay focused.” -@phynnthehuman

4) Separate Notebooks for Notes on Different Topics

5) As a Companion for Your Bullet Journal

“I use my Passport, paired with a Kaweco Brass Sport, as my daily carry notebook. I jot down quick notes and list items that may migrate to my bullet journal or use it when a smaller notebook is more convenient (taking notes in church). I also use a perforated refill for passing along notes and contact info to others. While the Passport is far too small for me to use as my bullet journal, it has become an integral part of my organizational system.” -@benjamin.nielson

6) Keeping Track of Work Expenses and Hours

“I keep track of receipts for everything I buy per month in the plastic zip pouch. I log my hours I’ve worked in monthly calendar and journal to write an inspirational or motivational note to myself every day.” -Karen F.

7) An Assortment of Handy Lists To Follow Up On

8) Wallet and Appointment Book

“I have a passport sized TN that I use instead of a wallet, with a notebook inside when I don’t have my larger notebooks to write appointments or memos down.” -Vivia K.

9) Home Planner, Health Journal, Financial Planner

“I own several and use 3 for different purposes right now. I’ve been using them for 3 years now. I have a B6 Slim that I carry in my tote bag that contains my wallet/financial insert, a notebook insert and a B6 Slim Jibun techo planner. I use an A5(Chic Sparrow deluxe) that has my home planner, a day journal and a commonplace insert and a narrow/standard TN as my wellness journal with 4 inserts-food/health journal, recipes insert, a notes insert and a sketch/art insert. I make my own inserts from scrapbook paper covers and good quality papers like Tomoe River.” -Leigh H.

10) Note-taking During Important Events

“I keep mine with a @pilotpenusa Stargazer in my @nockco Sapelo. The kit comes with me to author readings and other bookish events where I want to take notes or sketches.” -@booksforyears

No matter the purpose, the assortment of available insert notebooks for the Traveler’s Notebooks are sure to offer an arrangement that fits your needs. What do you use your Traveler’s Notebook for? Share your experiences in the comments below!

Write On,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

October 16th, 2018|Tips & Tricks|0 Comments

Noodler’s Cardinal Kestrel with a TWSBI Go in Smoke: Monday Matchup #197

A conch-themed illustration and quote drawn using a TWSB GO Smoke fountain pen and Noodler's Cardinal Kestrel ink

**WINNER: Congrats to Beth C. (Entered on Instagram). Check back next week for another awesome Monday Matchup Giveaway**

Hi everyone! Jenn here again with another Monday Matchup drawing for you. This week, I got to use the TWSBI Go in Smoke and Noodler’s Cardinal Kestrel ink. Read on to hear about my piece and what I thought of the pen and ink.

I was pretty excited to try this pen and ink. I love my TWSBI 580ALs, Eco, and Mini, but I’d never used the GO. And shockingly enough, even though I’ve worked at Goulet for 2.5 years, I’ve never inked up a pen with Noodler’s brand ink. So both were new territory for me, which is always fun.

Unlike most of my fellow team members, fall is my least favorite season. I have a number of reasons why, but the biggest is it signals the end of beach trips for another year. I adore the beach and have a hard time going for months on end without getting to swim in the ocean. When I do get to enjoy a beach day, if I’m not in the water then I’m scouring the sand searching for shells. I love the look of a perfect, unbroken conch shell, so I decided to bring back a bit of summer with my sketch for this Monday Matchup.

I started my piece by outlining the conch and drawing the lines that circle around the shell. Using a broad nib, I wasn’t able to get the lines as thin or close together as I would have liked, so I decided to offset that by making the outline of the shell thicker and darker. I ended up really enjoying the resulting contrast. The Noodler’s ink dried very quickly and I was able to trace over the outline multiple times without having to worry about smearing the inner lines.

Once I was happy with the lines, I added details to the outer and inner areas of the shell to give it depth and texture. I followed that with adding some color to the inner area and curve of the conch. I dipped a very wet Q-tip into a tiny bit of the Cardinal Kestrel ink, brushed it on a separate piece of paper to release some of the ink, and then spread it onto my drawing with a light touch. I did not want to the solid areas to be too dark. Most of the resulting color came from smearing the ink that was already on the page. I wasn’t thrilled with my shell just floating on the page so I decided to add sand. Guess what? Sand is really, really hard to draw. I tried a few techniques on scrap paper and wasn’t satisfied. Instead, I went with a few wavy lines. I drew them as quickly as I could, which helped to give them a free-flow feel, and then I traced each line with a wet Q-tip. The quote is, as far as I could tell, not attributed to any one specific person. I used it because it resonated so true for me, and it was the perfect compliment to my drawing.

Much to my surprise, I did not fall in love with this pen and ink. They weren’t bad; they’re just not my favorite choices. The GO is a lightweight plastic pen with a smooth grip; I liked that it was comfortable to hold both posted and unposted. The broad nib put down a decent amount of ink, but it’s definitely not what I’d consider a gusher. When drawing, the nib had just a bit of resistance, a touch of feedback, that I found I didn’t enjoy. It wasn’t scratchy at all, but I didn’t get that butter smooth feeling that I love while moving my pen across the page. Cardinal Kestrel is a pleasant red ink with a lot of shading. When layered, the red darkened up nicely, but even just one pass still resulted in what I consider to be a true red (the color of the quote is a good example). The dry time made drawing easier for me, which was great. Honestly, I’m just not a big fan of red and would have preferred a darker shade in general, but that is my only issue with this ink.

This pen and ink would be a great for making notations in red, as it is easy on the eyes and dries quickly; teachers correcting papers and students/writers making edits by hand come to mind. For fans of this shade of red, it would be great for journaling, note-taking, and quick sketches. Lefties would likely enjoy these as well; this pen and ink combo could be a good opportunity for them to try a broad nib without too much worry about smearing.

A conch-themed illustration and quote drawn using a TWSB GO Smoke fountain pen and Noodler's Cardinal Kestrel ink

A conch-themed illustration and quote drawn using a TWSB GO Smoke fountain pen and Noodler's Cardinal Kestrel ink

A conch-themed illustration and quote drawn using a TWSB GO Smoke fountain pen and Noodler's Cardinal Kestrel ink

A conch-themed illustration and quote drawn using a TWSB GO Smoke fountain pen and Noodler's Cardinal Kestrel ink

A conch-themed illustration and quote drawn using a TWSB GO Smoke fountain pen and Noodler's Cardinal Kestrel ink

You can find the TWSBI Go in Smoke at GouletPens.com for $18.99. Noodler’s Cardinal Kestrel is available in a 3oz. bottle for $12.50 or a 2ml sample for $1.25.

You could win this pen and ink! In an effort to make entering Monday Matchup a little easier, we’ve done away with the Rafflecopter widget and will be randomly selecting a winner from a randomly chosen platform each week. The entries methods will still be the same: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and a blog comment, but you’ll no longer have to complete your entry through Rafflecopter.

How to enter Monday Matchup Giveaway:

  • Match a pen and ink together. They don’t have to match in color, any fountain pen, and ink works.
  • You can choose to enter only one way or submit up to 4 different entries if you’d like. Feel free to use the same picture for all 4 entries.
  • Here’s how to enter:

The contest is open Monday, October 15, 2018, at 12 pm EDT until Tuesday, October 16, 2018, at 12 pm EDT. One winner will be randomly selected and announced tomorrow once the contest closes. The winner must live in a country that Goulet Pens currently ships to. Click here to see the Official Contest Rules.

Write On,

October 15th, 2018|Monday Matchup|0 Comments