In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks about large grips, the best collector brand, and Goulet Pens social media strategy!

This week:


1) darren_leonhardt- Instagram  (06:15)

Triangular grip sections don’t work well for me since I use a four finger grip instead of a three finger one. As such, I prefer larger and rounder sections instead. With that in mind, which pens have the largest round sections?

2) tinathetzu- Instagram (12:57)

Lamy vs. Faber-Castell vs. the rest of the world – what brand would @brian.goulet recommend to a newbie wanting to start a collection while sticking to one brand? #gouletqa

  • This is a tough one! Very personal
  • depends on if you want to go modern or vintage
  • Vintage: Esterbrook, Parker, Sheaffer, Waterman, Montblanc
  • Modern: Pilot (Namiki), Lamy, TWSBI, Pelikan, Edison, Montblanc
  • My personal biggest brand collection is Lamy
  • the hardest part is going backwards, and trying to collect stuff that’s not made anymore, that’s when it gets really expensive
  • you really have to go with what speaks to you
  • start in acquisition, then see where you are pulled ;)

3) minxyimp- Instagram (20:42)

What is a good ink pen combo that can be used on mixed media or multiple art surfaces e.g. canvas, watercolour, painted surfaces etc.

  • Pens you can do just about whatever you like, lots of folks like Lamy (workhorse), Pilot
  • most popular black ink is Platinum Carbon Black, De Atramentis Document inks
  • there are all kinds of inks you can use for ink pulling/washing (deep, saturated colors)


4) bicknunch- Instagram (24:28)

Is there a good way to remove the sparkles from sparking ink? For example, I really like the color and sheen of Emerald of Chivor, but I don’t desire the sparkling affect. Thank you!

5) @nuchtchas- Twitter (28:27)

Is it possible for @GouletPens to carry PenBBS pens? I got 2 recently and they are so smooth and fun to write with, I would buy more but would much rather buy from you. Experimenting on ebay is one thing, but I’d rather have the security of ordering from a real dealer.

  • Newer brands like this seem to be popping up recently, and I like to have them on my radar
  • Having a proper distribution channel is the challenge
  • PenBBS hasn’t been around that long, from what I understand
  • They’re a Chinese pen forum, and they started making or outsourced pens they designed for the forum
  • I have not been able to track down their point of contact yet
  • Sometimes with these newer manufacturers, they can’t handle global volume, so we have to wait
  • Especially with Chinese manufacturers, selling on eBay and shipping e-packet is a very efficient way to sell small items like pens in small quantities
  • When you get into buying larger quantities like we would need to as a retailer, stuff gets held up in customs, shipping prices are higher, there are duties fees, and stuff that drive up the price
  • The behind-the-scenes is often more complicated than you realize, especially internationally
  • We do appreciate getting asked about new brands, and we will always respond to the community! Sometimes it’s outside of our hands though


6) @n_vanderhoeven- Twitter (38:27)

Can you talk a bit about your content strategy? It seems like Goulet is everywhere! How do you decide what to post where and how many social networks do you handle yourself? Love what you do. Really appreciate all the educational content you put out about fountain pens.

  • Our main focus is on our own website (duh) and blog, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook (including Goulet Nation), Twitter, and Pinterest, with some activity here and there on Reddit (Rachel), the Fountain Pen Network (Brian), and Pen Addict Slack (Rachel)
  • I personally don’t manage any of the Goulet Pens accounts, but I do oversee the branding, and I’m obviously a content contributor
  • I’ll respond to comments on most of our platforms, as I’m able
  • I manage my own Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, I’ve done Periscope and Snapchat in the past, but have cooled off on them
  • we basically try to be everywhere that good fountain pen conversation is happening on the internet, and we find it by talking to people
  • We have a whole team that are managing these varieties of platforms, and help come up with great content ideas
  • it’s a huge amount of time, energy, and effort to do all this, but it’s kind of our thing and we love doing it


QOTW: If money was no object, what one brand would you choose to collect? If money was an object? (38:26)

Write On,
Brian Goulet