Goulet Q&A Episode 235: Pen Fan Lifestages, Goulet Nation, and Black Friday Recap

In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks about what makes someone a beginner, Goulet Nation, and Black Friday recap!

This week:


1) Jocklynn S.- Facebook (15:52)

What constitutes a beginner fountain pen versus an intermediate or advanced? And how do I know if I’ve successfully graduated to the next level??

  • This is totally, 100% subjective and there’s no strict rules around it
  • beginners- exploratory phase, first 6-12 months of pen use
    • often are just looking to understand what fountain pens even are, how they work
    • spend a ton of time watching videos, reading blogs, browsing retail sites getting your head around it all
    • you have more questions than answers!
    • price, reliability, and simplicity/ease of use are often motivators
    • sticking with steel nib pens, usually in the sub-$50 range
    • loading up on ink samples, maybe a couple of bottles
  • intermediate- refinement phase, 6mo-5 years+ of pen use
    • when you start getting into a variety of different nib sizes (maybe buying the same of pens you like with different colors or nibs)
    • you start to have a preference for certain inks in certain pens, can tell the difference
    • you can differentiate the tooth, spring, and flow of different nibs even among same nibs sizes and materials
    • different materials, preference for the feel of the material itself
    • might do some breakdown/cleaning, swapping nibs, eyedropper conversions, etc
    • you have more of an understanding of different models, styles, and functions of pens and start to develop a preference towards the ones you like, discerning your pen palate
  • advanced- benevolence phase, 5-10+ years of pen use
    • you get into collecting LE’s
    • nib customization, you know who does what nib work and what their specialty is
    • deep knowledge of pen brands, their histories
    • handwriting scripts
    • have maybe gone to pen shows or meetups and are usually the one people gather around because of the rare or interesting collection you have
    • perhaps you have a social media channel or two devoted to your pen passion with a loyal followership
    • you still enjoy learning  about pens, but it’s often more about the meaning, people, history behind them and you enjoy the knowledge-sharing  aspect of the hobby as much as the pens themselves
  • These are completely made up from me, don’t take them too seriously
  • important thing is not to get hung up on titles, the important thing is that you enjoy the journey, wherever you are!


2) Brandon G.- Facebook (23:17)

What is the one accessory (traveling ink wells, cases, rest, etc.) that has made your fountain pen experience more pleasurable over the years? And what are your top five (if you have five) list you would recommend to others?

  • #1 is easy, it’s the bulb syringe! I’ve cleaned thousands of pens over the years and saves who knows how many hours
  • cases are pretty important, I’ve used many of them and it’s less about which specific case, but having something that works for you and your pens is pretty crucial
  • silicone grease
  • loupe, not required at the beginning but crucial for me now
  • micromesh (again, not for everyone but I use it a lot when tuning my own nibs)


3) Renee O.- Facebook (28:11)

What happened to the Pilot 100th Anniversary mega expensive pen set? I was really more interested in the process used; I’m sure there were more than one interested parties.

  • it’s found a home with it’s new owner
  • this was a unique set, even for us
  • by far most expensive pen/set we ever sold, so we wanted to be thoughtful about it
  • sets like these are rare, and not usually an impulse buy, so we weren’t trying to get rid of it right away
  • this was a more “hands on” sales process than most of our other pens
  • we listed it, shot the video, gathered all info from email notification list, anyone who emailed, called, etc into one place
  • once we had given several weeks for word to get out about it, we contacted everyone who’d expressed any serious interest
  • we let them know our terms of the sale, which we worked out based on how we thought best to sell a set of this amount
  • I won’t go into detail about how we chose who got it, but it really came down to two people who were seriously interested
  • super expensive or rare pens get into a very interesting place, and are often more about personal connections and relationships than defined processes, so it really is just playing each one by ear
  • but this set went to someone who was really thrilled to get it, and is greatly enjoying it!

4) Odette B.- Facebook (32:42)

What do you think about the success of the Facebook group? And does it bother you that people show off pens they’ve bought from other retailers?

  • Goulet Nation! Approaching 10k members now
  • Engagement is INSANE, better than I could have even thought
  • What’s cool to see is that it’s not just pen super fans (Penablers as they call themselves), which is cool
  • But they also really have made a community out of the group
  • sending each other pens out of charity
  • creating name, logo, bingo cards, advent calendars, other swag
  • supporting each other through loss, tragedy, amazing to see
  • it’s obviously our private group, but we wanted it to be more than just a Goulet superfan club that we heavily moderated
  • we understand that even the most hardcore Goulet fans will own things we don’t sell, and it’s okay to “spread it around” when it makes sense
  • we have rules in the group about self-promotion, blatant pointing of people away from us to other retailers, selling their own stuff
  • we want people to have “real talk” in there, we’re not just trying to be big brother
  • part of what we love though is getting insights into your pen worlds, so even if you’re posting about things we don’t sell or elsewhere that you buy it, you’re still helping to educate us and learn where we could improve, potentially
  • it’s really just all about continuing  that feedback loop that we’ve appreciated from the founding of our company, it helps us to be in touch, grassroots, and serve you best!

5) n_munos- Instagram (40:27)

It appears there are many bridges to cross within the fountain pen industry from lack of accessibility to convenience. I love fountain pens and just deal with the challenges but in your opinion what issues whether expensive paper to marketing or manufacturing do you think need to improve to keep from deterring less enthusiastic individuals in overcoming certain challenges.

  • fountain pens inherently have a lot of challenges, there’s a learning curve
  • education is actually one of the biggest barriers, and we’re working hard to bridge that, constantly
  • we’re dealing with thinking about how to curate all our content now, because we have SO much of it and are putting out more daily
  • I think in the big big big picture the biggest challenge we’ll have is kids not necessarily being taught how to write with pens in school, so as a society we may move away from the practicality of using a pen at all
  • manufacturers are in this interesting place where they are caught between the old and new world, and some just might not “get it”, others will and will grow a lot
  • We’re working to try to 1) educate the pen community and anyone interested in pen knowledge and use, and 2) working with distributors and manufacturers to help them innovate, stay relevant, and grow
  • marketing is always a challenge, because the world is changing fast and we have to keep up with it
  • these are all really fun challenges though! I love it and plan to make some ripples as time goes on

6) @LucyHoneychurch- Twitter (47:34)

If I remember it correctly you didn’t have a Black Friday sale before this year, would you like to talk about why you changed this?

  • we’ve done other things in the past, but this was definitely the most intentionally we’ve ever leaned into it
  • in the past, I was always very prideful about rarely running sales, not paying for any advertising, etc
  • I may have overcorrected, never wanting to devalue our customer service, shipping, any of our brands or products, or pushing anything on anyone that they didn’t expressly want
  • I wanted any sale things we did to come from a good place in our hearts, so we have waited years to get into the BFCM scene
  • I’m actually a terrible salesman, everything we’ve focused on building with Goulet Pens has been very heavy into branding, not sales per se
  • This year we just had better foresight, better planning, a team that had their hands around what we were doing, and we were able to strike what we felt was a healthy balance of exciting sales and deals with our ability to support during those sales, promote products that our brands supported, clear out some of our overstock on things that would keep our company healthy, and be really exciting for you at a time when you can be served well with some good deals leading into the holidays
  • it just felt like time to lean into it a little bit more, especially based on customer expectations/encouragement
  • the most important thing to realize is our heart behind it all, we really want to serve you well, serve our team well, keep our company healthy and brands strong

QOTW: What do you consider yourself to be in your pen journey, a beginner, intermediate, or advanced? (56:35)

Writing Prompt: Write a thank you card to someone you know. (56:59)

Write On,
Brian Goulet

December 7th, 2018|Goulet Q&A|0 Comments

Fountain Pen Presents At Any Price

The gift of pen, paper, and ink can be the perfect present. Whether you have a family member who wants to start journaling or a friend who is always envious of your fountain pens, these gift ideas are a great way to give the gift of writing to everyone on your list. We’ve curated these seven different pen, ink, and paper combinations at a variety of price points to help make your holiday shopping a breeze.

Under $10

Under $20

Under $25

Under $30

Under $40

Under $50

Under $100

Which pen, ink, and paper set is your favorite? Comment below and let us know!

Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

December 7th, 2018|Holiday Gift Guides|0 Comments

Goulet Guests: Chet Herbert, Founder of The Herbert Pen Company

We have a very special episode of Goulet Guests today! Chet Herbert, founder of The Herbert Pen Company, recently stopped by the Goulet Pens office to have a chat with Brian! The Herbert Pen Company is also based in Richmond, VA and creates gorgeous handmade fountain pens. We’re excited to show off our first collaboration together, the Herbert Monument Liberty! This demonstrator fountain pen actually has ribbons of Noodler’s Liberty’s Elysium ink swirling around its barrel.

Beyond showing off this dazzling new pen, Brian & Chet touch on a variety of different topics! Here’s a rundown:

  • How did Chet get into the pen world?
  • While it started as a hobby, why did Chet decide to turn this into a full-fledged business?
  • What pen influencers did he follow as he got started?
  • What is Herbert Pens known for? Does he have a specialty?
  • How did the city of Richmond influence his pen names & designs?
  • Explains his full process for creating custom pens, including the Monument Liberty

What did you think of the interview? Do you like our first pen collaboration? Leave a comment below!

Write On,
The Goulet Pen Company

December 6th, 2018|Goulet Guests, Pen News|0 Comments

Must-Have Fountain Pen Accessories

Pens, ink, and paper get a lot of love around the holidays, but there’s some unsung heroes behind the scenes in the fountain pen world. Accessories can come in all shapes and sizes and can provide a helpful hand through your fountain pen journey! Celebrate the little guys and have a look at our must-have fountain pen accessories:

Pineider Pen Filler – $25

Traveling with full ink bottles can be a pain and could lead to an inky disaster. The new Pineider Pen Filler is here to make filling on-the-go significantly easier! Compatible with nearly all fountain pens, this pen filler holds up to 10ml of ink, perfect for multiple fills when away from the desk. Check out our Quick Look video to see how this helpful device works!

Pineider Snorkel – $15

Worried about getting the very last drop of ink out of your favorite bottle? The Pineider Snorkel filler is here to help! Attaching directly to most converters, this helpful accessory is designed to draw up ink when traditional filling methods don’t work. Use every bit of your favorite ink before ordering the next one!

Nock Co. Seed A5 Case – $70

The perfect fountain pen case for students is here! The Seed case from Nock Co. features two interior pen slots, a small card pocket in the back, and accessories pocket on the outside. Even better, your favorite A5 notebook can slide into the interior panels keeping them safe and secure. Have your pens, ink, and notebook all in one place with these unique cases from Nock.

Carton 10x Loupe – $19.50

Sometimes, fountain pen disasters can strike! It’s unfortunate, but it does happen, even to the best of us. Keep an eye on your nib and make sure it’s in top-working order with this Carton 10x Loupe! If your nib is feeling scratchy, or a tine may be misaligned, get a closer look with this accessory to help diagnose and solve the issue.

Goulet Cleaning Set – $17.90

Keep your pens in tip-top shape with the Goulet Cleaning Set! This handy set comes with an 8oz bottle of Goulet Pen Flush for any stubborn ink, an empty vial, a bulb syringe, and 2 ink syringes. Pen cleaning has never been so easy with this grouping of accessories. Perfect for fountain pen beginners and seasoned vets alike!

CursiveLogic Workbook – $34.95

Looking to teach, learn or re-learn cursive writing? This workbook from CursiveLogic is the perfect accessory to your fountain pen hobby! Each workbook contains step-by-step instructions for learning the CursiveLogic way with lessons and practice sheets. Take back your handwriting and improve with the helpful teaching tool.

GPC Calendar – $12

Love our weekly Thursday Things and Art History Desk features? Experience those year-round with our 2019 GPC Calendar! From themed flatlays like ‘Pink Lemonade’ and ‘Nordic Blue’ to layouts inspired by Salvador Dali, these truly highlight the beauty of pens, ink, and paper.

Rickshaw Bagworks Pen Cases – $15 to $60

New to GPC in late 2018, Rickshaw Bagworks Pen Cases feature our unique ‘ink-in-water’ designs you see throughout our offices. Available in 1 and 2 pen sleeves, as well as 6 or 8 pen rolls, each design has amazingly soft plush-lined sleeves to keep your fountain pens safe and sound on-the-go!

Check all of these selections and more out on our Must-Have Accessories Shopping Guide! Do you have a favorite accessory? Let us know in the comments below.

Write On,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

December 5th, 2018|Holiday Gift Guides, Shopping Guides|0 Comments

Edison Nouveau Premiere Winter 2019 Special Editions: Cranberry and Juniper

Edison Nouveau Premiere Winter 2019 Special Editions: Cranberry and Juniper

Goulet Pens and the Edison Pen Co. have teamed up again for not one, but TWO more exciting seasonal edition fountain pens! Introducing the wonderful wintery duo of Juniper and Cranberry, the 22nd and 23rd installments of our exclusive Nouveau Premiere. These brilliant, glimmering beauties are handmade by the Edison team in their Ohio shop and each one features a unique blend of depth and chatoyance. Like a snowflake, no two pens are exactly the same. Check out some quick facts on the pens below and head to GouletPens.com to get one (or both!) today.

  • Resin body and cap with silver furnishings
  • #6 steel nib available in Extra-Fine, Fine, Medium, Broad, and 1.1mm Stub
  • Replacement nibs available for separate purchase as well
  • Converter included and accepts Standard International cartridges
  • Also eyedropper convertible- check out this Quick Tip video to learn how!
  • Postable and comfortable for writing unposted or posted
  • Unposted body length- 128mm (5in), Posted- 172.3mm (6.8in)
  • Grip Diameter- 9.2mm (0.4in)
  • Total Weight-17g (0.6oz)

Need a great ink to go with your pen? Check out our suggestions below!

Inks to match Juniper:

Inks to match Cranberry:


Edison Nouveau Premiere Winter 2019 Special Editions: Cranberry and Juniper

You can pick up the Cranberry and Juniper Edison Nouveau Premiere 2019 Winter Editions for $169, only at Goulet Pens. They will be avaialbe for a limited time, so be sure to snag one soon. They are perfect for those holiday wish lists!

Write On,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

December 4th, 2018|Pen News|0 Comments

Goulet Q&A Episode 234: Q&A with Kara Benz of Boho Berry at the LAMY Store in NYC

Hi pen friends,

I’ve been spending the last few days in NYC visiting the LAMY store in SoHo for a variety of events they’re hosting and invited me to. I was able to host a Q&A with my good friend Kara Benz of Boho Berry and we recorded the live event so that we could share it with you all here. We answered questions about the fountain pen community, bullet journaling, starting a small business, and utilizing the power of social media.

If you ever find yourself in NYC, I definitely recommend checking out the LAMY store!

Write on,
Brian Goulet

November 30th, 2018|Goulet Q&A|0 Comments