The holiday countdown is on, so we wanted to share our order deadlines with you to help ensure that you receive your holiday orders in time! While we can’t officially guarantee delivery timelines, our entire team is working as hard as they possibly can this holiday season to get your order packed with that slightly ridiculous amount of care so they’re on the way to you as soon as possible. Our last shipping day will be Friday December 21st, and below are our recommend order-by dates, based on the shipping method you choose.
Shipping within the United States:
- Order by Monday December 17th if you are shipping via USPS 1st Class. We’ll get these orders out the door by December 20th.
- Order by Tuesday December 18th if you are shipping via USPS Priority. We’ll get these orders out the door by December 20th.
- Order by Wednesday December 19th if you are shipping via FedEx 2-Day. We’ll get these orders out the door by December 20th.
- Order by Thursday December 20th if you are shipping via FedEx Overnight. We’ll get these orders out the door by December 21st.
- Order by Wednesday December 5th if you are shipping via Standard International or USPS Priority International. We want to let you know that these shipping methods may be a stretch depending on your location – we really can’t guarantee on-time delivery with these methods, and tracking isn’t very reliable. We really recommend the USPS Express or FedEx instead.
- Order by Wednesday December 12th if you are shipping via FedEx International.
- Order by Wednesday December 12th if you are shipping via USPS Express International.
The truth is, the sooner you place the order, the better! You can talk to us across our social media channels, as well as on LiveChat and or send us an email at email@example.com. Or give us a call at 804-368-0482 and our team would love to help. We wish you a happy holiday season!
The Goulet Pen Company Team
You don’t need to break the bank to give the gift of fountain pens! Many great-writing pens are available for under $25 as well as spectacular inks, and fountain pen-friendly paper! Check out our list of 10 great, yet affordable options:
Clear demonstrator pens are nearly a must-have in any pen collection and the Monteverde Monza Crystal Clear is a great and affordable option! Ready to write with a standard international converter & two cartridges, this fountain pen even comes with a free bottle of Monteverde ink (worth $15) for a limited time.
Who says fountain pen designs can’t be a little fun? The Jinhao 993 Shark Pen embraces the idea with a shark-like cap and many colorful colors including Light Pink and Lime Green. For under $5, the 993 features a unique hooded nib and is one of the best-writing pens for the price. Perfect for the young fountain pen enthusiast in your life!
Have an international spy in your life that needs a new notebook? Crack the code and go with the Winter 2018 seasonal edition from Field Notes, Clandestine! This 3-pack of notebooks has a sleek and mysterious feel and is filled with secret codes and ciphers. With dot-grid ruling, your favorite secret agent can also stay organized.
Give the gift of sheen! Organics Studio is known for creating some of the best sheening inks around, and you don’t need to break the bank to use them! With bottles under $15, experience these color shifting inks like Nitrogen, Thoreau, or Emerson!
Finding the perfect notebook can be tricky when first starting with fountain pens. From paper thickness to page ruling, there’s a few options to choose from. Instead of diving right in with a notebook that might not work, try our Notebook Sampler Set! This set showcases pocket-sized notebooks from Apica, Clairefontaine, Goulet (Tomoe River), Maruman Mnemosyne, Traveler’s, and Rhodia; allowing them to find the perfect notebook for their next purchase.
Coming in soft pastel colors like Sunny Peach and Aquamarina, the ONLINE Slope is new to the Goulet Pens scene but has quickly become one of our favorite starter pens. With a matte resin barrel and dynamic faceted twisting shape, this fountain pen is sure to catch a few eyes! This also comes with a free bottle of Monteverde ink (worth $15) for a limited-time.
New & affordable Pilot fountain pen, need I say more? Joining forces with the Metropolitan and Kakuno, the Pilot Explorer offers a lightweight option with a metallic look. With those Japanese nibs you know and love, the Explorer is a perfect addition to any fountain pen collection.
A no-nonsense ink with a premium glass bottle, Pilot Iroshizuku ink is a staple for many GPC employees for good reason! Whether it’s the vibrant blue Kon-peki that Brian loves, or the sheening Yama-budo that Rachel uses, there’s a color for everyone. Add this classy ink bottle to your rotation!
With over 700 inks to choose from on the Goulet Pens site, it can be hard to narrow down which inks you want to try. Take the guesswork out and opt for a Surprise Me! Ink Sample Set featuring 8 randomly chosen ink samples. Narrow down the color, brand, and properties before diving in with a full bottle. They’ll be sure to find a new favorite ink in these sets.
One of the best value brands around, TWSBI, has set the bar again in 2018! The new TWSBI GO features a unique spring loaded piston filling mechanism. Fill and clean this pen with a push of a button! Available in Smoke or Sapphire, this fountain pen is a great deal for under $20.
The Diplomat Magnum sports a lightweight body with an amazingly springy JoWo nib! Available in 5 different colors (Blue, Red, Black, Grey, and White), this affordable workhouse features a matte chrome trim and ergonomic grip section. To make this an even better deal, from now through the rest of 2018, the Magnum comes with a free bottle of 90ml Monteverde ink ($15 value)!
To shop all of these products and even more great gift ideas, check out our Stocking Stuffers Shopping Guide! Did you find the perfect, yet affordable, gift? Have your eye on another pen or ink? Let us know in the comments below.
The Goulet Pen Company
Fountain pens can vary a lot in price, which can leave you wondering why and if they’re worth it. So we wanted to compare three similar pens that we get asked about all the time, the TWSBI GO, ECO, and 580!
TWSBI is a company based in Taiwan with limited distribution worldwide, with a focus on pens of value and performance beyond what you typically see in their price ranges. They’ve found a niche for themselves particularly in piston-filling demonstrator pens, and they use all high-quality and individually tested German nibs. So let’s see how each of these pen models breakdown:
The TWSBI GO is relatively new, coming out in late 2018 and is the most affordable of the bunch at $18.99. Not only is it the most affordable TWSBI, but one of the most affordable piston filling fountain pens on the market altogether! It’s actually a spring-loaded piston which is really unique but offers easy filling and cleaning.
The GO features a triangular grip which helps with finger placement for any pen newbie. It doesn’t have a clip, but does feature a roll stop that you could attach a lanyard to, though not included. The snap cap makes it ideal for on-the-go writing and a great quick draw fountain pen option!
It comes in either blue or smoke, and while it has yet to be shown in other colors, TWSBI does a great job at producing special edition colors for most of their pen models, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see that with the GO as well. It uses a #4 size stainless steel nib in EF, F, M, B, and 1.1mm stub. Overall, the GO has become pretty popular because of its price, unique filling mechanism, and ease of use.
The TWSBI ECO was released in mid-2015 and actually features the exact same nibs as the GO, so the writing experience should be similar. It uses a different type of resin that is less cloudy, so it becomes more of a true clear demonstrator. The ECO has special edition colors coming out on a fairly regular basis, and even a new variation was created this year in the ECO-T which features a more pronounced triangular grip like the GO.
While the screw cap on the ECO lends itself less to the quick draw nature of the GO, it is more secure and does a great job of sealing the nib. The cap itself is hexagonal, but the body of the pen is round. It utilizes a twist piston mechanism that’s easily disassembled and even includes a wrench with instructions on how to do it.
The price of the ECO is $28.99, so it’s not a huge jump up. This makes it one of the best value pens around and has been the go-to TWSBI for Brian Goulet the last few years!
Last, but not least, we have the TWSBI Diamond 580 (or 580 for short). This came out in early 2013 and is more of the original TWSBI pen. This has been the natural evolution from the now discontinued 530 and 540. It features a larger #5 stainless steel nib with interchangeable grip sections that are available separately!
The 580 is made of a tougher resin that’s treated for scratch resistance. It has a diamond faceted barrel that gives it a more defined look. The cap itself seals the pen really well and has a universally appealing clip as well as a more premium finial than other models. Like the ECO, it can be completely disassembled with the wrench provided.
At $50-$65 (depending on the version like the ALR), this is a bit of a price jump from the previous two. The aesthetics, removable nib units, and scratch resistance body all factor into the price. It’s important to keep in mind that when the 580 was released, it wasn’t intended to be the ‘premium’ model in their lineup and only became so when the ECO and GO came out. They still remain a very popular model and a disruptor to the fountain pen market as a whole.
No matter which you consider, each can be justified depending on what you’re wanting and each is a great choice. Really, comparing them across the fountain pen market, you’ll find that feature-for-feature, they all represent really great value.
We’d love to hear what you think! Do you have a TWSBI preference? Let us know!
The Goulet Pen Company Team
There has been a lot of discussion on our Social Media channels over the past few weeks about making advent calendars chock full of fountain pen goodies. While there isn’t one all-encompassing product on our store you can purchase for this purpose, it does provide a good opportunity for some DIY crafting! Below we offer some step-by-step tips to make yourself a DIY advent calendar to countdown the holiday season with your favorite fountain pen products. Be sure to check out our ideas for items to stuff your calendar with as well!
Step 1: Make your pouches for stuffing
Take some Original Crown Mill Classic Laid Small Envelopes (or a similarly sturdy 6″x4″ sized envelope) and seal it up at the flap. Once it’s dry and sealed, you can cut it in half straight through the center of the long end. Each envelope will yield two pouches for your calendar. TIP: Use a cotton swab and water for sealing to save yourself some time and effort.
2) Number Your Envelopes
Have fun and get creative decorating your pouches with a number and some fun designs. Feel free to use a bunch of different inks to make it fun and colorful. You will need 24 total numbered pouches.
3) Punch a hole in the top of the envelopes and string them together
We recommend 3 sets of 8 pouches each so you have a full display of goodies but feel free to arrange them as you like best. You can display your calendar on a wall or lay them out on a table or desk.
4) Stuff your pouches
You can use ink samples, candy, fountain pen accessories, cartridges, small pocket sized notebooks or pens, sealing wax and brass seals or even new replacement nibs for your pens! We cannot guarentee that ink samples won’t be duplicated if you order multiple Surprise Me! Random Ink Sample sets, but our Team Favorites or Packages by Theme are a great way to get an assortment of inks. If you would like some suggestions on what to stuff your envelopes with or would like to plan out your month ahead of time, be sure to check out our templates below! Feel free to download them and use them as you wish.
Have you ever made your own Advent calendar? Share pictures with us in the comments below!
The Goulet Pen Company Team
In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks all about GPC to celebrate our 9th anniversary!
- 9th anniversary tomorrow! 11/17
- Why we consider that our anniversary
- Got a new Director of Marketing! John’s here, and he’s watching me film this episode
- So many new products
- Retro 51 Montana
- Pilot Explorer
- 2019 GPC Calendar
- Pineider Snorkel Filler
- Platinum Karakusa Celluloid
- Pelikan m600 Orange
- Diplomat Aero Blue and Violet 14k gold nibs
- Field Notes Clandestine
- Montegrappa Elmo Verde Altipiano
- Pineider Arco
- Nock Brasstowns?
- Pelikan m400 Brown Tortoise?
- Coming still:
- Taking off Q&A next week bc of Thanksgiving, have a great week!
- Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend deals are coming, we aren’t going to hype them up too much in advance
- Definitely sign up for the newsletter and check our site next weekend to see what we have going on
- We’ll be working Black Friday, though expect delays on orders from the weekend due to high volume!
- ask us to expedite in your order comments if you’re under a deadline, we’ll try to honor requests
- Get Fedex 2-day if rush is needed, that we’ll definitely move to the front of the line
1) efromejia- Instagram (11:56)
How many different models of pens you offered when you started and how many now?
- originally is was my handmade ones, but they were really just leftover from my penmaking days
- really, it was 0, for the first whole year
- now? 147 fountain pen models as of the recording of this video
2) cesaregao- Instagram (13:16)
How do you feel when you have to exchange pens?
- it’s always a little disappointing, because I want everyone to have a great experience right off the bat
- it’s retail, returns are a fact of life
- you’re buying physical pens through a website, it’s tough to convey everything like you can in person
- even in person, there would be returns
- we try to make it easy, focus on education and troubleshooting, but ultimately we view it as an opportunity
- it’s redemption, we’re helping someone learn more about their writing style, the brands they’re picking, or what might work better for them
3) arasbilgen- Instagram (15:26)
What was the toughest business lesson you learned along the way?
- people can’t read my mind
- My leadership style has been to lead by example, but often it requires my being more explicit than just doing it and hoping it rubs off on others
- I’m more driven, more risk-taking, more stress-eating than most, which is why I am where I am
- not everyone wants that, so just me doing what I do isn’t enough to help others along, I have to consciously share my thoughts, vision, and process, and pull others along with me rather than just forage a path through the jungle and hope others follow
- I have to look around and make sure I have everyone with me
4) Bobby J- Facebook (17:40)
Why don’t you do pen shows?
- I’ve gone to more pen shows, I did 3 this year, and loved it for the social aspect of it and being part of the community
- I worked 1 show, DC in 2010, and it about killed me
- it just wasn’t for me, took too much out of me and was a huge distraction from running Goulet Pens as you see it today
- Young kids, travel is really hard
- Rachel has travel anxiety, so her traveling is hard and it’s taxing for me to be away
- I literally just made this connection though, working shows brings me back to the early days of the business when we were not successful, so I really just don’t have great memories from it!
- I was never sure of myself or what I was doing when working craft shows, but I feel so much more sure of videos like these and what we do in this building is right, so that’s where I want to spend my time
- it just all kind of sums up into not making a whole ton of sense for us to do it, as much as we’d love to
- it’s not off the table forever, but it’s going to be challenging for us to to it regularly
5) Blakemore C.- Facebook (21:58)
How do you determine what reviewers to work with? What are determining factors for what pens, inks, etc. get sent out for review? What would cause you to end a relationship with a reviewer?
- we honestly haven’t worked with all that many, and a lot of that just has to do with logistics, it’s a lot of time and coordination
- it’s largely been a matter of serendipity so far, when we’re able to swing it and it makes sense for us and the reviewer
- Ending a relationship? We haven’t had anything blow up in our face, but usually if someone stops being active in the community, starts getting really controversial, is really tough to work with (doesn’t communicate well), takes stuff but either takes forever or doesn’t actually review it, that kinda thing
- we may look to expand this very strategically in the future, yet to be seen
6) dmm0629- Instagram (26:00)
What would be the pros and cons of having a public store area to your location?
- Pros: get to see pen people! Buy stuff in person, huge win for some customers, could carry Montblanc, maybe other brands who require a physical location
- Cons: managing inventory on location and on the web, significant cost of setting up a physical storefront and ongoing expenses, staffing for physical interaction, possible shrinkage (theft)
- Not something we have in the plans in the foreseeable future, unfortunately
7) roshclicks- Instagram (28:31)
Do you think your company has caused to increase the market size for fountain pens?
- I don’t know for certain, there’s not good data out there specifically around the fountain pen market
- I definitely don’t have the ego to say that we have
- We’ve sought to bring new fountain pen users into the community, hence the huge focus on videos and education-based content
- we could just be riding a wave of people moving to online, there have been a lot of B&M stores that have closed down in our 9 years here, could just be a larger trend and we’re sitting in the right place
- I take nothing for granted, and we’ll do everything we can to do what we feel will help increase the market
8) clbdroid- Instagram (31:03)
Was there a point where you and Rachel thought of packing it in and getting “typical” jobs?
- Rachel has a successful career before this business, that’s what helped us get it off the ground
- She could get a job working for someone else tomorrow, easily
- I would be completely unmanageable, and have absolutely zero desire in my life to work for someone else
- I gauge my own happiness and success based on the fact I don’t work for someone else, but that’s just me and I’ve ALWAYS felt that way
- Honestly we just feel like we’re called to be doing what we’re doing, and can’t envision anything else that’d be better for us, so it’s not even something we think about!
9) arasbilgen- Instagram (33:25)
What is the advice you wish you had when you started?
- spend the time up front to define and clarify your why, your mission, vision, purpose, values, and use that to guide who you hire and how you set up your business
- self-awareness is everything, and living true to your values is the only way to last long-term
- I did this, but didn’t have it defined so went through some pain early on when people couldn’t just read my mind
- We didn’t define it here until we had 20 people, about 5 years in, and that would have been better to clarify before the first hire
10) mikemitchell357- Instagram (36:12)
I understand it’s probably a long way off but I frequently have this question about family owned companies. What is planned for Goulet Pens after Brian and Rachel? I know you have kids but you seem like the type of people that will support them if they choose to go another way too, is there an alternate plan?
- running a family business was part of the reason we wanted to do all this in the first place
- we thought it’d stay small, just the two of us in our house, really
- that’s what my parents had, and I wanted that for our kids as a lifestyle
- as for what my kids do, it’s yet to be seen
- I want them to have options, to raise them to be good humans, be empathetic
- I have zero ego tied up in what they grow up to do or accomplish, including work in this business
- I’d be thrilled if it worked out where they wanted to join here long-term, but it won’t be forced
- I’m working to raise up other leaders, and I will have a succession plan in place whether that involves my kids working in the business or not, so I won’t have that dependency on them
11) kzender- Instagram (41:27)
What is your proudest moment at the Goulet Pen Company?
- So many! Our team rating us 3rd best place to work in our city was pretty amazing
- Moving into this space
- taking it all the way back though, it was when Rachel and I drew our first paycheck
- I’d worked as a hobby and tried to find the right business model for over 3 years, without ever paying myself
- Once we both dove in full time, took the risk, saw the vision and were able to pay ourselves for our own work, we knew it was real, and I was not just a dreamer
- we’ve had some amazing experiences since then, but nothing that was as personally validating as that
12) @monoolho- Twitter (45:55)
Brian: describe the feelings you got in every big change you faced (Selling pens, moving to other locations, etc.). And I mean the collective you, the family, the team, AND you personally.
- We’ve faced some real doozies over the years
- Me working in the business full time, Rachel quitting her job, first hire, moving our business out of the house, moving websites, moving buildings, putting our kids in daycare, etc
- My favorite saying: “Change is scary at the beginning, messy in the middle, and beautiful in the end”
- that pretty much sums it all up! No matter where you are, when you’re faced with a choice that has any degree of uncertainty you will always feel this fear
- it’s not that these feelings ever go away, but you just decide to lean into them, and overcome that fear rather than let it dictate your decisions
13) gillian.barr- Instagram (50:49)
Do employees get a discount? And are employee purchases embargoed or rationed on some way on super-high-demand items?
- in short, yes, I want our team to be as in love with our products as possible
- they get free ink samples, and a significant discount and periodic free stuff
- if there is super hot limited stuff, we’ll give it second thoughts
- a lot of our team understand that if stuff is limited, so they won’t want to take away from customers!
- but it’s actually pretty rare that we’re in that boat, so we just play it by ear
14) gillian.barr- Instagram (52:53)
How do you determine which items w/in a line to stock and how do you determine how much inventory? Sometimes I’m slow to decide to pull the trigger on something expensive, and while I’d like to get it from you, you’re sold out, but other online vendors aren’t, so I go w them. 🙁
- this is an ever-moving target!
- we look at historical data, especially within a brand
- we have to use our instincts too, so really it’s an educated guess
- when it comes to stock issues, we spend a lot of time trying to address those, but it’s very challenging
- we completely understand when you buy elsewhere, and we totally get it
- you can always reach out to us and ask us about specific products, when we’ll get them in, we’ll give our best estimate
- sometimes, especially with high-end stuff, it’s out of our hands but we’ll try!
15) Stuart J- Facebook (56:52)
As your company has grown and flourished, have your values had to change to fit with that growth compared to when you started? Has anything stayed the same?
- as we’ve grown we’ve had to change a lot, in terms of our org structure, meeting rhythms, communication, etc
- values though are something that should remand constant, and ours have since we established them in 2014
- we basically have lived them out from the beginning but we defined them in 2014
- we hire by them, make culture and product decisions by them, they’re the filter by which we make all decisions so they are the steadfast pillars that remain constant throughout our company
- it’s not to say they couldn’t ever change, but it would be equivalent to rebuilding a building’s foundation, it would be very disruptive and take a lot of time and consideration to do
- that would be the case for us because they are that deeply rooted into what we do, they are not platitudes
16) thegizmohound- Instagram (1:01:57)
You have done an awesome job growing a company for ten years. What does the next ten years look like?
- it’s funny whenever I get asked this question because it’s basically impossible to know what 10 years from now will look like
- 10 years ago I would have said I would be a pen craftsman selling to retailers managing other craftsmen making wooden pens
- 10 years ago Instagram and Pinterest didn’t exist, Facebook didn’t have business pages or private groups, YouTube had a 10-minute time limit on its videos, and I’d never used a fountain pen in my life
- so I can’t really answer this question with certainty, but what I can say is that it’s more about the journey than the destination
- 10 years from now my son will be graduating high school, and my daughter will be driving
- I love what I do and have no plans to stop
- I am motivated by the challenges of growth, and feel that I have a unique gift and passion for building this business and raising up others in leadership (as hard as that is)
- I want to continue to grow, make my own little dent in the pen universe, and get deeper into the product development, branding, and community aspect of the pen world
- I can see us having more exclusive and branded products, and leading the industry in customer service, marketing, and fulfillment operations
- I am concerned about the state of handwriting over the next 10 years, and it fades away from the memory even of teachers in the schooling system
- I don’t know if we’ll be the ones to try to lead that charge, or if there will be a resurgence in that but it’s on my mind
- the fact I don’t know what 10 years from now looks like is actually a good thing, because whatever I could dream up now is probably more limited and less exciting than what will actually develop, so I will take things a year at a time and look back 10 years from now in amazement!
QOTW: What advice would you give yourself if you were just starting out your career or schooling, knowing what you know now? (1:09:08)
Writing Prompt: Write where you imagine yourself to be in 10 years. (1:09:29)
If you’re looking for a magical new pen or ink to add to your collection of clever writing instruments, you’re in luck. Thursday Things: Clandestine Green is teeming with terrific products for the most resourceful and determined of writers. These pens, inks, and accessories will carry your writing through your day-to-day activities and onward to wherever your adventurous mind may venture. If you’re looking for a new writing tool for your winter endeavors, be sure to peruse this amazing assortment.
Featured products from left to right:
- Stipula Etruria Fountain Pen- Green Ebonite– $395
- Pelikan M205 Fountain Pen- Olivine– $148
- Benu Briolette Fountain Pen- Secret Garden– $74
- Original Crown Mill Bicolor A5 Correspondence Set – Cream/Green– $27.90
- Robert Oster Green at Night (50ml bottle)– $17
- Herbin Supple Sealing Wax – Silver- 1 Stick– $5
- Visconti Mirage Fountain Pen- Emerald– $159 MSRP, Log on to your Goulet Pens account for best price
- Pelikan Edelstein Olivine (50ml bottle)– $28
- Field Notes 3-Pack Special Edition Notebooks- Clandestine– $12.95
- Atelier Gargoyle Flexible Sealing Wax- Forest Green– $7
Thursday Things is taking a break for a few weeks, we’ll be back in 2019 to bring your more splendid pen spreads!
The Goulet Pen Company Team