In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks about the softest gold nibs, rocker clips, and the one thing that drives him!

This week:


1) young_chivalrous- Instagram  (09:23)

Which brand offers the softest gold nib? Lamy, Pilot, Aurora, Edison, Platinum(PLT-5000A), etc.

  • Pilot Falcon, for sure, other pilot soft nibs too (though not many available in the US), Justus 95 too
  • Pineider has a really soft gold nib
  • Pelikan m1000 is amazing, the other gold nibs a bit less so
  • Pilot e95s is pretty great
  • Edison (Jowo) gold nibs are pretty soft, but not quite as soft as Pilot’s soft nibs
  • Visconti palladium nibs are rather soft, but they’re not gold nibs, I guess!
  • Lamy gold nibs are springy, but not all that soft (2000 nibs are stiff)
  • Aurora isn’t crazy soft
  • Platinum’s are actually quite stiff, their “soft” nibs are more like Pilot’s regular gold nibs, the exception being the PTL-5000A

2) Robert M.- YouTube (13:48)

Any advice on how to find more, as Rachel said, “Rocker clip” pens? I don’t know what the official term is, but i have a pocket on my bag made of a thicker leather than usual and would like to be able to use more of that kind.

  • Rocker clip is where you can push the back of it down and open it up, it’s not all that common
  • we don’t have a search filter or anything like that on the site, but I’ll try to think of all the rocker clip pens we have!
  • Conklin (all but Duragraph)
  • Diplomat Excellence
  • Lamy Nexx?
  • Now there are spring clips, which are a lot more common…
  • Faber-Castell, all Lamys but Safari, Al-Star, and Studio, Pineider, Visconti


3) Brian R.- Facebook (20:41)

How do you reach out to pen manufacturers with critiques and suggestions? Or to ink producers.

  • It varies from one manufacturer to another
  • We have ongoing relationships with our manufacturers, and look to build it on trust
  • we always seek to understand first, then give feedback based on customer feedback and our perceptions
  • smaller manufacturers we often get to be very direct, larger companies it depends based on who we’re talking to and how well we know them
  • there’s always a lot to learn, in both directions!


4) Ed D.- Facebook (28:08)

With all the pen shows, social media and YouTube channels that are around, what community venue or forum do you think the pen community could benefit from having that we don’t currently have?

  • it’s true, there really are a lot of different communities out there
  • one thing I’ve seen evolve in the last 9 years is a move away from specifically developed communities (forums, blogs, messaging boards) around pens and more engagement in social media platforms at large
  • it’s been interesting to see Goulet Nation develop into what it has, but even that is still within Facebook
  • there are plenty of pen shows, but not as many local meet ups that are well organized
  • Not a single great pen trading/reselling platform
  • no trade organization/group around pen manufacturing, nib tuning, pen repair, etc
  • it’s hard to say what the future holds, but you can bet we’re trying to think of ways we can help benefit the community!

5) Rita P.- Facebook (41:54)

I love interesting nib designs. Sometimes, a pretty nib can sell me on a pen. What are your favorite ornate or most uniquely designed nibs?

6) dylandilly- Instagram  (48:11)

You have been doing this for many years. What is one thing that keeps you motivated and drive you to do such an awesome job?

  • I could list a lot of things, but the greatest one thing would be my sense of calling, of purpose
  • I’ve had such a crazy series of events that have led me here, and despite how stressful and challenging it can be sometimes, I really feel like I’m meant to be doing what I’m doing
  • it’s fitting that I’m getting this question right before the DC show, as that show always marks the anniversary of my epiphany to explore fountain pens
  • I’m not always clear how I should be doing it, and that’s a lot of what it is I spend my time figuring out
  • John Maxwell calls it the Leadership Lid, where an organization can only grow as much as the leaders who run it
  • Laurence J. Peter came up with the “Peter Principle”, which states that every employee is promoted to the highest level of his or her incompetence
  • I feel kind of a combination of both of these, as any competence I gain, I try to build into a process, train, or delegate away, and I therefore need to take on new skills I’ve never had
  • this is unbelievably humbling, and I face up to my inadequacies every day, it’s quite normal for running your own growing company, and not everyone can stomach it
  • I have this ability to not be crippled by uncertainty or facing my own fears and doubts, and that’s something that’s both come natural to me and I’ve honed it a lot with practice
  • I recognize that as a leader and as a figurehead of this company, I have to be confident and secure in who I am and what I’m doing, even if how I should best do it is sometimes unclear
  • my greater sense of calling towards my work gives me that motivation

QOTW: What type of venue/social organization do you think the fountain pen community could benefit from the most right now? (1:01:39)

Writing Prompt: Write about the oldest memory you have as a child. (1:02:00)

Write On,
Brian Goulet