In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks about meeting Richard Binder and Nathan Tardif, pointless breather holes, teaching fountain pen writing to your kids, and if college was a waste for him!

This week:


1) Cody M- Facebook (10:30)

I have a question for Q&A that I can’t find another video on. Are there advantages or disadvantages to #4 vs #5 vs #6 vs #7 etc. nibs? Is there a difference other than just visual aesthetic?

  • there is a physical difference in size
  • well adjusted and writing properly, there shouldn’t be much of a functional difference, honestly
  • the length of nib might be the grip seats a little differently in your hand, that’s a small thing though
  • the biggest advantage will be swappability/compatibility should you choose to swap
  • mostly, it’s all aesthetic

2) spider7006 Instagram  (15:55)

I can’t seem to get my pen to shade. Do you have to press the pen down into the paper for it to shade? Same paper, same pen, no shading for me but it works for my coworker and my girlfriend…. what gives? I can mail you the paper if you want to see it.

  • with all other factors consistent (paper, ink, etc) there are only a couple of factors left
  • writing angle and writing pressure matter most
  • writing speed plays a part, as could rotation (less likely)
  • There’s likely some combination of all these at play
  • I and Rachel experience the same thing, she holds her pens at a steeper angle (drier writing) than me

3) Instagram (19:45)

What is the purpose of breather holes? Why are they called so? Are there any pros and cons to pens having or not having them?

  • aesthetic, partly
  • they do allow a little bit of air ink interchange, hence the “breathing” term
  • pens can be designed to “breathe” without having a hole there (like Lamy)
  • they don’t HAVE to be there, but when they are there, it’s because they’re serving a purpose

4) @JeanMassumiHara- Twitter (24:25)

How can we pass this love for fountain pens,to next generation?What age? Have you already tried with your kids?Is there a junior FP like in old times?

  • It all depends on how much they’re around them
  • I’ve seen kids in France writing with fountain pens in first grade with better handwriting than I have (almost)
  • my kids are 6 and 8 and use them sparingly for right now, mainly recreationally
  • there are some kid pens, but much less common in the US because the regulations around there are a bit of a hurdle
  • Lamy ABC, Pelikan Pelikano Junior, Pelikan Twist


5) @TankCruisin- Twitter (28:36)

If someone were to hypothetically use their upcoming summer bonus to order 664 random ink samples, would they theoretically end up with every ink sample color Goulet is currently selling?

  • we’ve never had that happen, so we’d probably talk about it if we saw an order for that many samples!
  • 220ish is our record, I think
  • we would almost certainly try to pull one of everything, though we almost never have EVERYTHING in stock…
  • If you’re looking into that, email my team and we’ll be happy to figure it out with you ;)


6) spider7006- Instagram (31:36)

What about adding a new design to the Goulet note card line up? How about something with a love theme. So we can write love notes on good paper with sheening and shading and stuff, not spend $8 on a card with crappy paper.

  • okay fair enough!
  • these notecards are all adapted from our Monday Matchup artwork we do for Instagram
  • we don’t often have any kind of a theme to them, whatever is inspired by the artist doing them
  • love certainly could be a suggestion I throw out to the team
  • as for whether or not we make cards out of them, we’d have to see
  • we have to order pretty large quantities of them, so we’d need to make sure there’s enough demand out there for them
  • even then, it takes about 4-6 weeks to order new cards, at least
  • we’ll talk about it! We’re always open to ideas and recommendations


7) declaireations- Instagram (34:17)

I have a business question for q&a! Does Brian feel he would have been as successful workout his business education as background? How often in your daily work-life is your business degree actively used? Thank you for being an awesome company and team!!

  • I’m sure this is on a lot of graduates’ minds right now, given the time of year
  • by and large, the specific education I got is not used much day-to-day
  • I started out in the school of business and actually transferred to Liberal Arts where the Residential Property Management major lived
  • Technically my degree is Housing and Urban Development with a concentration in Residential Property Management
  • the only things I reaaaaaally use are some of the financial and managerial accounting things, which I could have easily read in a Finances for Dummies book, quite honestly
  • what I DID gain a lot was from the overall experience, the discipline of completing school, and my leadership training in the Corps of Cadets
  • largely though, I had the experience I did because I sought it out, not because I went through a program that made me who I am
  • I left the Corps 2.5 years in and changed my major twice, technically
  • I have my undergrad in property management, but I have my masters in the school of hard knocks (experience)
  • “Experience gives you the test first and the lesson later.” Vernon Law
  • I don’t think I would have been as successful without what I did because if I hadn’t done it I wouldn’t know what I know and have had the timing I had! Honestly though, I could not have studied anything specifically to prepare me for what I’m doing, so I regret nothing
  • Bottom line is that if you want to be something, you have to find a way to do it, no matter what your background. Just freaking figure it out

QOTW: If you had the chance to spend the day with Richard Binder or Nathan Tardif, who would you choose and what would you do?

Write On,
Brian Goulet