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This week, Brian talks about his most disliked inks, good pens for 10-year old piano students, how often inks break in Goulet packages, and the Goulet social media strategy. It’s a good one, enjoy!
New Products this week: – (3:10)
  • Cross Century II
  • J. Herbin Fountain Pen
  • Platinum 3776 Yamanaka LE
  • Pilot VP stubs!


Pens/Writing – (5:33)

1) John S- Email – (5:36)
I’m a FP newbie. Just getting used to my Pilot Metropolitan, Lamy Logo, TWSBI Mini, and Lamy Al-Star Copper Orange. I’m using different inks in each pen but have 25-30 ink samples I want to try. Could you recommend another pen for me to use as an ‘ink sampler’ that would be easy to clean between samples?
  • glass pen
  • Lamy Al-Star (or Vista/Safari) with medium nib (or your preference)
  • easy to clean is key for lots of sampling
2) Bippie S- Facebook – (12:17)
I have elementary piano students who have become fascinated with my fountain pen and want to save up their “practice points” to get one of their own. What would be a good starter pen for a 10 year old? I suggested a Pilot Varsity, but they want the experience of inking their own.
3) @JerryTanta13- Twitter – (16:34)
Is it possible to tighten a screw cap too much? I’m always tightening them a lot because I dont want my pen to dry out. (specifically TWSBI 580)
  • it is definitely possible
  • plastic can crack under too much pressure
  • plastic or metal threads can strip
  • 580 has the propensity to crack under pressure, contraband is reinforced to help with this but it can still happen
  • ink insert in cap will help keep it from drying out, over tightening won’t help anything
Ink – (18:41)4) Brendle L- Facebook – (18:44)
Where can i find discontinued inks? Like the Caran dache saffron very much.
  • our discontinued stuff doesn’t usually hang around long
  • this has been gone for about 2 years
  • some retailers might have old stock sitting around, you’ll go hunting though
  • eBay or FPN will be your best bet
5) Fernanda B- Facebook – (21:43)
About inks, and only about their colors, in your opinion:
– What’s the most beautiful one, other than blue (got you there)
– What color you can’t stand to use/hate
– What is the most different/unique you’ve ever seen?
And about scented ones, do you like them? Use them? Which ones are your favorite/least favorite, in terms of smell?
  • I don’t really use them, just not my thing
6) Kevin L- Facebook – (28:58)
I recently saw a video presentation by the other Brian (of Edison Pens) dealing with nib smoothing and tine adjustment. It was very informative but there was no mention of any ink factor with a nib that does not function as one would like. Do you consider the ink being used before reaching for the loupe and smoothing materials for a persnickety nib?
  • I know Brian, he is a great guy
  • definitely knows his way around some pens and nibs, will admit himself he doesn’t use a lot of different inks
  • ink has been much more my thing
  • as far as a nib writing smoothly, that’s mainly a nib tuning issue
  • as far as flow, the nib affects it the most, but the paper and ink used can influence flow pretty well
  • from a pen/nib maker point of view, you start with tuning the nib right first, then you get the ink you want to accommodate flow from there
7) @pvshamloo-Twitter – (35:44)
Does increased wetness increase line width? I know it will on cheap paper, but what about on Rhodia?
  • usually, yes, especially on cheap paper
  • on ink resistant paper like Rhodia, not always
  • it does depend on the ink though, some inks spread more than others (especially fast-dry inks, and certain permanent ones)
Business – (41:06)8) Megan Nichol- Blog – (47:08)
Maybe I’m going crazy, but I could have sworn there was a blurb on the product pages for paper on the old site about a bulk ordering discount, is that something you still do? I go through paper pretty quickly and should really just stock up and save you guys some effort instead of ordering one or two notebooks at a time.
  • you’re not crazy, this used to be a built-in feature on our old site (pre-Nov 2014)
  • we don’t have it auto-built-in to our new site, yet
  • we can make adjustments though, if you email us
  • it’s a manual process and I get that it’s not very convenient, we are working on getting it back but it’s more complicated than it seems
9) Dale R- Facebook – (42:45)
With the “slightly ridiculous amount of care” you take in wrapping the inky contents of our little boxes, how many inks break in transit? 1%? 5%?
  • less than that, it’s unbelievably low
  • I didn’t pull every single instance, but I would say we have only ever had a handful break in transit, so something like .03% have legit broken in transit
  • sometimes there’s a leak due to a cap that isn’t tightened all the way coming from the manufacturer
  • often there’s ink that freezes and breaks in winter when being shipped to really cold areas, can’t do much about that
  • there’s a reason we pack the way we do!
10) Merry P- Facebook – (46:04)
Would it be possible for you guys to have a flat shipping rate over a certain price point for your international customers in the future? Shipping tends to add up and make things more expensive than ebay/amazon sometimes and we would love to buy from you guys!
  • we’d love to have something like this, but the prices for international shipping vary wildly depending on where it’s going, the shipping class, and how much it weighs
  • it’s less about price point and more about weight, as that’s the biggest variable of cost
11) Brandon D- Facebook – (49:50)
What previous social media experience does your team have and do you stay so proactive on so many different platform? You guys kill it with everything you post. Being someone going into social media after school I would love to know!
  • thanks!
  • professionally or academically, little to none
  • we’re all grassroots here
  • we’re all millennials so we’ve grown up with social media rising to the forefront
  • it’s less about having a lot of experience and more about understanding who our audience is on each platform
  • that’s something we’ve come to care about a lot in the last two years, especially
  • we’ll curate different content on only certain platforms based on who tends to hang out there
  • we’ll focus more educational and utilitarian content on YouTube, more whimsical and inspirational stuff on Instagram
  • Periscope is super-informal, Facebook is much more conversational and question-driven, Pinterest is much less timely and “window-shoppy”
  • This has come from me and Rachel’s experience, we’ve taught a lot of this to our team, they take it and run with it, engage well with everyone and bring their own insights
QOTW: What is the single most beautiful ink to you? – (59:06)

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