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.I missed last week due to taking time off with my family for Thanksgiving, thanks for letting me take that break! I’m coming back this week with a good ol’ fashioned Q&A where I’m talking about Lamy 2000 nibs, why acid-free paper matters, the next luxury pen brand I might carry, and what a Goulet-made pen might look like! I’m also sharing the Thanksgiveaway winners today…

New/Upcoming Products – (8:56)

Pens/Writing – (15:33)1) Dolfandad79- YouTube – (15:35)
I love the video discussing the lamy 2000 “quality control” with Drew Brown! You always say for $150 you can’t go wrong with a Pilot Custom 74 (in blue, of course) or a lamy 2000. I was wondering since the Pilot Custom 74 doesn’t have a “sweet spot issue” per se, would this be a safer pen to go for for that “next level pen”?

  • toyed with the idea of a new video similar to the “top 7 next level” pens from before but related to gold nib pens
  • Lamy 2000, Custom 74, and Pilot VP are my top 3 go to’s for intro-level gold nibs
  • Custom 74 definitely is more forgiving
  • Custom 74 nib is softer, springier
  • Line is finer than the 2000, not as wet
  • 74 is better if you’re looking for finer lines, not as good if you want gushing wetness
Ink – (21:53)2) Kevin L.- Facebook – (21:54)
My question concerns converters. Are you of the opinion that a wider opening would result in better ink flow?

  • No, I haven’t really found that to matter
  • The design of the converter can matter if the ink hangs up in the back (like on old Pilot Con-50’s)
  • As long as ink is touching the feed, it’ll flow, the converter is just an ink reservoir
3) Gina S.- Facebook – (24:08)
Is it feasible to swap ink cartridges in and out of pens after they’ve been punctured (the cartridges, not the pens)? I’m thinking specifically of Pilot Parallel pens. I have several colors of their cartridges and I don’t want to waste a lot of ink trying to swap out cartridges only to have them dry out. I know I could buy Pilot CON-50 converters for all of them, but I’d like to use the ink I have on hand before I do so.
  • oh sure, you can swap them as long as you’re not trying to store them
  • You will want to clean the inks out, unless you’re going for a gradation/transitional effect
  • make sure if you aren’t cleaning your pens that you’re using compatible inks (like the Parallel mixables)
Paper – (27:41)4) @JoshuaPaulRamey- Twitter  – (27:44)
Does it matter if it is acid-free? How can we tell if it is? I’m looking at this: RHODIA WEBNOTEBOOK

  • Acid-free does matter, for archival purposes
  • Wikipedia has a good page on Acid-Free Paper
  • This paper has the lignin removed and has its acids neutralized in the manufacturing process
  • Acid in paper yellows it and degrades relatively quickly
  • Most decent paper is acid-free, often they’ll advertise it
  • Rhodia definitely is acid-free
Business – (29:44)5) John Lee- YouTube  – (29:45)
Brian, if you could separate out all your customers into those you would consider to be collectors and those who you would consider strictly users, what would the percentage be? Also with all your business connections and your own customer base as well as where they live what would you say is the percentage of people that use fountain pens by country/continent/world?

  • I don’t have personalized pen usage data on all my customers
  • Mostly it’s by gut feel and engagement, but I’d say somewhere in the 99% user range
  • “Collectors” are relatively rare these days, or maybe someone may use most of their pens and just get a special one they save every now and then
  • The majority of our customers are in the US, not surprising with shipping costs/time involved
  • Germany, Japan, Italy, France, and UK all have stronger FP cultures, and that’s where a lot of the FP products come from
  • China is a HUGE user of fountain pens, though not for us
6) Oliver M.- Facebook – (32:26)
Regarding your first steps into the pen world, would you consider launching your own FP brand ? or a “”goulet pen”” model made by a already existing brand ? if so , what would be the specs ?
  • This is certainly something we’re considering here at some point
  • We already have an exclusive Edison pen (Nouveau Premiere)
  • We’ve been doing more exclusive colors/designs with other brands (Conklin Duragraph Ice Blue, Visconti Crimson Tide, etc)
  • We’ve talked about “white label” pens, as well as making our own in-house
  • This is a way later 2016 project, though we’re open to it, there’s nothing concrete in the works
  • As far as what I’d want, I won’t divulge because I don’t want to spoil anything!
7) Allen Y.- Email – (38:47)
Now that you’ve become a successful Visconti Dealer, do you see the company branching out into some of the other luxury brands. I ask because I’m a huge fan of a couple of the Montblanc Inks, an while a 149 may not be in my immediate future, I’d love it if you carried Toffee Brown and Irish Green.
  • Maybe, but we’re not hard driving towards “luxury” brands
  • We’re users at heart, and anything we carry will need to be mainly user-focused
  • Visconti is collectible, but they write great and people still really use them
  • We’re definitely moving towards Namiki Maki-e, considering Platinum Maki-e as well
  • These are luxury lines within our existing brands, we could also go up into collectibles with Visconti, Delta, Aurora, etc
  • Mont-Blanc, not so much, we’d love to carry their ink and maybe select pens but they don’t sell to online only retailers
  • What would you want to see us carry?
Personal – (44:09)8) Travis W.- Facebook – (44:12)
Are you keeping the beard?

  • I still have it today!
  • I’m honestly not sure, I’m taking it a day at a time
  • I will say I like it more than I thought I would, though I can see getting sick of it soon
  • It is warm…
9) Gary W.- Facebook – (48:44)
Do you use the same inks all the time, or do you change constantly from your sample inventory? It seems to me that you would have an opportunity to change inks often in your fountain pens. I know that you do the ink swabs and perhaps one or two lines of writing with that ink, but I was wondering if you use ink samples or rotate different ones in and out of you pens.
  • I used to change constantly, and use fewer pens
  • now I’m constantly changing pens (getting to know the new models we carry) so I stay a little more constant with my inks
  • I’ll change inks when new stuff comes out or when I’m reviewing them
  • When trying new inks, rather than changing out all my own pens I’ll just borrow what everyone else around our office is using!
  • We are constantly changing inks in all our pens around here, so I can just look at what our team is writing with and if I want to try it, I just ask and get to try it!
QOTW: Do you consider yourself to be a user or a collector? What’s your percentage? – (53:19)

Thanks so much for joining me this week! You can catch up on any old Q&A videos you missed here.

Write On,
Brian Goulet