In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks about exclusive inks, how his taste for pens has changed, and when pen boxes matter!

This week:

Pens/Writing

1) jarot186- Instagram (14:34)

I have seen your videos about how to use Mylar paper, but I would like to know, how to smooth an Italic or Stub nib with a Mylar paper?

  • it’s essentially the same concept, but you have to hold the nib in a very exact way when you smooth it
  • further nib training has since shown me it can give you more control to hold the nib and use the paper in your hand to smooth the nib in the final stages (mylar)
  • with italics and stubs, they’re less forgiving with smoothness
  • making sure the outer edges and edges inside the slit aren’t sharp is key, and alignment, obviously

2) Granite- Email (21:24)

What’s your take on boxes? I’m speaking specifically about the boxes that fine pens come in, but that could also include ink boxes. Some are really nice, others are pretty basic. Over the years I’ve amassed boxes of boxes. Is there any value in saving them or are they more trouble than they’re worth? I’ve never sold any of my pens but if I did I don’t know whether a purchaser would care if it came with the box or not. Guidance please.

  • Boxes are such a funny thing!
  • I love the presentation of a pen in a box, and I find satisfaction in that
  • the truth is I hardly ever look at a box after getting the pen initially
  • boxes aren’t cheap, and it’s always a delicate balance pen manufacturers have to weigh out
  • I think they matter for LE’s, collector items with unique packaging
  • regular pens though, hardly matter at all, especially when you buy online because boxes often aren’t even photographed!
  • do they matter to you?

3) Dale M- Facebook (28:15)

I have a couple of vintage pens, a 1920’s Mabie Todd and a 1950’s Waterman. I’ll only use Black, blue or blue-black in these as that was all there was pretty much back then. Can you recommend a modern pen that has the feel of the old BCHR and Ebonite pens that I can whack modern inks into?

  • modern ebonite pens will be your best bet
  • Conklin Classic (special edition), Noodler’s ebonites, Namiki ebonites
  • there are some others out there that I’m failing to recall, maybe we can get some shoutouts in the comments?
  • Truthfully there aren’t a ton of regularly offered ebonite pens, not like there used to be

Ink

4) oatmealandcambria- Instagram (33:31)

Does Goulet Pens have any exclusive inks in the works? I love Liberty’s Elysium, but it’s been years since it’s release; I’ve recently purchased exclusive Diamine and Robert Oster inks from other retailers and it got me thinking about the mighty Goulets… You offer several exclusive pens, but are there any additional inks on the horizon? Thanks.

  • It has been years!
  • Honestly we don’t have anything in the works but we really should!
  • What should we do???

Business

5) pansorie78- Instagram (34:18)

During a recent Write Now you mentioned that it was an exciting and crazy time for the company when the Dark Lilac came out. I was just wondering what was going on that made it such a memorable moment?

  • Any annual special edition like that is always really busy for us
  • The pens were set to arrive ahead of time, but it was a fright shipment and it was delayed!
  • FedEx freight made a mistake and missed putting it on the train from Texas, so it missed the weekend
  • we got our shipment about a week after most other retailers, and we felt like we had to launch as soon as they arrived
  • in particular, this one was crazy because we’d scheduled an off-site training session (EntreLeadership 1-day event) in North Carolina, about 3 hours away
  • it was set to arrive the day of the training, so we decided to bail on the training and do the launch
  • it ended up being our highest sales day to date
  • we sold out of ink almost immediately, and there were frantic calls, emails, and live chats for people looking for more

6) oatmealandcambria- Instagram (41:16)

Has Goulet considered a “Brand Story” page for the website? You offer many amazing tools like Nib Nook, Swab Shop, etc. – how about a page listing each brands info, founders and founding date, notable achievements and innovations, what they’re known for? Brand Story pages are common amongst premium electronics; how about amongst premium pens? It can help users feel more attachment and loyalty to the instruments. Thanks.

  • that’s a pretty good idea! I like that, and I’ll give that some thought!
  • Are there any specific sites that do this that are helpful? I’d love some to look at to consider

Personal

7) Michael W.- Email (42:59)

How has your taste in fountain pens changed over time (and have you retained your appreciation for your “first loves”)?

  • I started out loving shading inks, deep blues, and stub nibs, and I still love all these things!
  • day to ay I use more fine nibs than I used to, and my price threshold has gone up quite a bit
  • I did start out in acquisition, buying a variety of pens to get a diversity of experience, and I still do that
  • I do a bit of collecting, finding LE and SE pens more appealing (LAMY, Pelikan)
  • My first gold nib pens like the Pilot Custom 74 and Lamy 2000 I still love
  • largely though, I do still enjoy the types of pens I was using in the early days!

QOTW: What is your expectation for pen boxes? Do you find that you expect a nice box when you spend more on a pen? What do you do with your pen boxes after you get it? (49:44)

Write On,
Brian Goulet