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In this week’s Q&A, I talk about my ink swab process, my fanciest pens, and what I learned from working with my dad.
Here’s some of the recent products and videos we’ve been 
working on at GouletPens.com: – (:43)
 
Pens/Writing – (5:03)

1) Inlovewithjournals –YouTube – (5:12)

I like to post my caps. Can you tell me which pens have caps that actually screw to the barrel when posted?

  • Cross Classic Century
  • Stipula Passoporto?
  • That’s about all I can think of, honestly
Ink – (7:25)

2) Travis W. – Facebook – (7:32)

What are your favorite inks available in cartridges – preferably grouped by color and/or proprietary design.

3) @clazbill –Twitter – (10:09)

For swabs, or written ink tests, how often do you redo them to check for fading?

  • really no need, I keep them filed away in temp controlled and dark storage on acid-free, pH-neutral paper
  • sunlight is what causes fading
4) Brian H. -Facebook – (12:47)

I use love using Noodler’s Bad Blue Heron in my Pilot Metro, but the nib creep is so bad that it gets on the grip when capped (even when stored tip up). From what I understand this could be caused by the saturation of the dye that’s in the ink. Is dilution an option to help/stop the nib creep? Or does this sound like its a pen issue?

  • It sounds like something else is up
  • Ink really doesn’t creep so hard it crawls out of the pen when it’s nib up
  • could be getting in the cap when carried around and dripping down when you put it away
  • could be leaking, maybe improperly seated converter
  • I recommend a thorough cleaning, cap included and try again
  • maybe try switching inks and see if it still does it, that’d help rule it out
5) Ferraraphotographics- YouTube – (19:30)

What’s the big deal about mold?  How easy is it to have a pen infected. What is the long term damage to my pen? Is it just a good cleaning and I am back to normal?  I have bottles of ink that are 15+ years old. No sign of mold. Is this more common in very humid climates?

  • mold isn’t super common, but it does happen
  • most inks have biocides to fight mold growth
  • if it gets moldy in your pen, you can disinfect it with a bleach solution, how much it needs depends on how bad it is
  • I don’t know if it has anything to do with humid climates, it has more to do with mold in your environment
Business – (24:33)

‏6) @roguishknave-Twitter – (24:39)

How exactly do you make your swabs? In particular the large swab. Do you make multiple passes with the Qtip or just one?

  • Standardized on Clairefontaine Pollen cardstock, 210g
  • cut up into 2”x2.25” cards
  • write ink name with a glass pen 
  • completely saturate the q-tip, swab a single, intentional swab
  • let dry, scan in
7) Shubhranshu D. Facebook – (28:53)

Is the introduction of the Cross Townsend a change in GPC strategy to include some of the more expensive brands or FP ranges? Costs for selling a 20$ and 300$ FP would remain fairly similar… Except inventory carrying costs etc maybe slightly higher…. Would GPC move up the premium ladder?

  • It’s not really a change in strategy
  • we’ve been carrying pens in this price range for a while, like Platinums, VP Radens, Omas, etc
  • carrying rollerballs was really more of a tangent than carrying Cross
  • I don’t really consider Cross to be a “premium” brand, not like Pelikan, Delta, Montegrappa, Visconti, Mont Blanc, Cartier…
  • We dabble in the higher end stuff, but it’s not so much our focus, we’ll go there as people ask us for it
8) tgrant5 –YouTube – (36:14)

What are your “”staple”” books ( or other resources) that has helped shape “”The Goulet Pen Company “” that we know today? What are the top 3 lessons that you learned while working with your dad?  As a frequent customer, I thank you and your wife for running a great company and (from my view) a positive place to work for your team members.

  • Some top books: Gary Vaynerchuk’s Crush It (why I do videos/social media)
  • Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership (hiring, culture, mission/vision)
  • Simon Sinek’s Start With Why (purpose)
  • Patrick Lencioni’s The Advantage (organizational health)
  • Top three things my dad taught me: Work Hard, Be Honest, Be Flexible (no joke)
  • working with him though, he taught me to figure things out, even if stuff broke down and I didn’t know what to do, I had to figure it out
Personal – (49:42)

9) AJ Mangino –YouTube – (49:47)
Brian, I know you really like your Custom 74 (as I do mine) because it is beautiful and reliable. I have to wonder though, with a collection of 300 pens, you do not have any higher end pens that have some special

value or just write like a dream? I know you are a new pen retailer but I have to imagine that you have some awesome pens that would knock the Custom 74 or Lamy 2000 out of your top 2.

  • They’re not my top pens because they’re “the” best ones I have, though they are pretty awesome
  • Big fan of the Omas Ogiva (Cocktail will be coming out this fall)
  • Waterman Carene in  fine
  • Pelikan pens are great (pricey but write really well)
  • Parker Duofold writes nicely, VERY wet
  • Lots and lots of Edisons are very special to me
  • Other special pens, ones that have been a gift like my Namiki Custom Impressions
  • My special ones I don’t write with as often, only on occasion, same goes for my premium level pens
  • I am very utilitarian and have a value mindset, so I love the Custom 74, Lamy 2000, VP, and other pens like this for the value aspect and I don’t have to be too careful with them
Troubleshooting – (55:03)

10) Leah K. -Facebook – (55:08)
I’m fairly new to fountain pens, although I used one many years ago.  Recently, I was using my fountain pen to take notes during a webinar on my computer.  With the ceiling fan on, it may have dried out the pen a bit, as I noticed it didn’t seem to flow well.  I wound up actually putting more ink in it, even though it probably still had a decent supply left.  How could I have prevented this or what should I have done in this situation?
  • ceiling fan may have been somewhat of a factor, not as much as you think
  • probably just the pen was uncapped too long
  • this is common for anyone switching over to FP’s from ballpoints/rollerballs
  • new habit to cap pen when not using it
  • some pens are easier to cap than others, this can help in making capping more of a habit
  • some pens/inks dry out quicker than others
 
QOTW: What are the 3 most impactful books that you’ve read? – 58:28
 
Thanks so much for spending time with me this week, I really appreciate it! Be sure to check here if there are any old Q&A’s that you missed.
 
Write On,
Brian Goulet