Tuesday, September 30, 2014

TWSBI Classic Now Posts!

Back when the TWSBI Classic came out in January of 2014, I was really excited about the pen. So much so, I shot a whopping 5 videos on it: Intro to the TWSBI Classic Fountain PenTWSBI Classic, 580, Mini Fountain Pen ComparisonFilling the TWSBI Classic Fountain Pen from a BottleWriting with the TWSBI Classic Fountain Pen, and TWSBI Classic Disassembly and Reassembly Demonstration. Despite all that education and praise I put out there, the Classic just hasn’t been a home run. And I think a lot of that is because of one fatal flaw (that I did point out), it didn’t post. 

Well, that’s changed now. TWSBI has responded to its fans and redesigned the filler knob (end cap) to the pen with a pair of rubber o-rings to hold the cap firmly in place while it’s posted. It goes on easy, and feels secure. It’s a nice adaptation, thank you TWSBI! So basically in this video I just show you what the end cap looks like and how the pen posts. Nothing too fancy, I’ve probably talked about this pen too much already ;) For what it’s worth, I actually think for the price, features, and overall size/design of the pen it’s actually really tough to beat. Time will tell if this new end cap will prove that in the pen community.

TWSBI’s already made this change on all Classics moving forward, so anything you buy from here on out should be the new version, check with your retailer of choice if you’re unsure. I know at GouletPens.com we’ve got all new ones. But what about for those of you that already have the old version? Well, TWSBI is going to get a supply of replacement end caps soon, and you’ll be able to buy one for a pretty reasonable price (around $5 probably) and swap it out yourself. 

What do you think of the change?

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Monday, September 29, 2014

Monday Matchup #15: Noodler's Konrad Flex Pen in Amazon Pearl and Noodler's Green

Mondays might be tough, but one positive is that they equal a fresh start. New beginnings make me think 'green' and 'go'. So, to get you pumped up this Monday and propel you into the week, our Monday Matchup is vivid, fresh, and screams "get going!"

We’ve paired the Noodler’s Konrad flex pen in Amazon Pearl with Noodler's Green. It's almost like they were made for each other. This pair is spunky and allows diversity in your writing stokes as well as color. The green is on the darker side, but has some natural shading that works perfectly with the flex nib. If you're looking for something new and different, this is exactly the combo you need.

Hopefully this week's match gets you revved up for a new week with new beginnings. Sometimes a little change, like a new match, is all you need to start fresh and stay motivated. You've got this!

Caitlin did this week's drawing using the Konrad flex pen shown and a Noodler's brush pen. The writing sample was contributed by Alex to show off the pen's capabilities.

Hope you have a successful, bright, and fresh Monday!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Goulet Q&A Episode 50, Open Forum

I'm getting pretty amped up for the Business Gets Personal event that Rachel and I are attending next week with Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuck, and Dave Ramsey! Until then, I'm talking about the new TWSBI Classic postable end cap, writing left-handed, glow in the dark inks, and my social media approach and how I balance it with all I have going on. Good questions this week! 

1) Joy Noel- Ink Nouveau (7:35)
What criteria are used by the option on gouletpens.com to "Sort By Most Popular"? Sometimes the order surprises me. I presume each SKU is sorted according to the number ordered during some recent period of time. If so, what time period?
  • manual process right now
  • based on true popularity (of sales on our site)
  • we choose the time period, usually last 60 days is most relevant
2) Paradox Studios- YouTube (9:20)
I'm left handed and I have a lot of problems with cheaper pens (for example the Lamy Safari). Are these pens scratchy because of my writing position (I write with the hand above the writing line)? 

  • hand position likely has a lot to do with it
  • cheaper nibs aren’t ground to be used in that direction, usually
  • more expensive pens often are give more attention by nibmeisters at factory
  • cheaper nibs are barely touched by humans, if at all
  • more expensive pens go through tuning by humans

3) Miguel Landestoy- YouTube (12:40)
Do you happen to know if there is any glow in the dark inks? i think that would pretty cool.
  • have seen glow in the dark calligraphy ink, from J. Herbin (not sure if they still make it)
  • no ’true’ glow in the dark, but are some glow under UV light
  • Noodler’s Blue Ghost, Firefly, several others 

4) Alex Kartal- YouTube (14:50)
There's something that I've been wondering about for a long time is what's with the ninja turtle figures in the background?
  • What, I like Ninja Turtles!
  • Drew and I used to play pretend TMNT in school
  • My son now likes them, so I put them in there 

5) Dane M.- Email (17:05)I love my Pilot Vanishing Point F inked with either Noodler's Liberty's Elysium, Waterman Serenity Blue, or Diamine Oxblood, but very few notebooks or papers that I've found are both affordable and fountain pen friendly. Any recommendations for good paper on a budget?
  • depends on the format
  • bound journals are always most expensive
  • wire bound and staple bound notepads are more affordable
  • Leuchtturm bound journals are good
  • none of the paper I carry is “cheap”
  • Good experience with Black n’ Red, HP laser jet paper

6) Simdhuja M.- Facebook (21:13)

I get that the minimum quality of paper for serving the purpose of a fountain pen should say 24lb, but there are so many adjectives to the quality of paper like coated, premium, etc.... What are these and how many more varieties are there??? Its something like my fingers recognise the quality and texture of good paper but I get confused with these denominations... Please help...

  • sigh…this will always be confusing
  • aside from paper weight (gsm/lb), acid-free, pH-neutral, there really isn’t anything standard that’s marketed
  • some call premium, coated, ink-resistant, etc, but they could all mean different things
  • you pretty much have to go off the trusted review of an online source, or try the paper for yourself

7) Eric O.- Facebook (27:10)
Brian, Goulet pens has a strong presence in the social media/technology arenas. Do you ever rethink all the engagement efforts due to time constraints? Have you found a way to manage your business while growing your business? 
  • Social media/content has been a huge reason for the growth
  • no paid advertising
  • it’s always a balancing act
  • got help
  • spend a lot of time on social sites, always trying to hone and tone
  • no one ‘really’ has it figured out, it’s a moving target

8) Richard B.- Facebook (33:23)

I've been thinking about getting a Lamy 2000, but the new Lamy Studio Wild Rubin has peaked my interest. Both have a 14k gold nib. Could you compare the writing experience between these two? Which nib do you like better?
  • Oh, good question! Personally, I like the way the 14k Lamy nib on the Studio a little better
  • less of a ’sweet spot’
  • Like the pen body of the 2000 better
  • if I had to choose between the two for a daily writer, it would be the 2000, based on what I naturally grab to write with
  • Wild Rubin will make a MUCH more impressive gift 

9) Tristan N.- Facebook (36:27)

Does the Goulet team watch your videos as well?
  • yes, but not everyone watches every video
  • Customer Care team watches the most
  • Training/on-boarding have lists of videos to watch like FP101
  • just about everyone we’ve ever hired has known nothing about pens, learn as they go
  • special videos (like the Goulet Values) we’ll watch in our Wed. morning company meeting together 

10) Adrian C.- Facebook (43:10)

I know that The Goulet Pen Company has no control over this, but WHEN IS THE TWSBI 580 USA coming out?? I have been waiting on my next order so that I can include that pen! I know I am being impatient, but I just love ordering stuff from your company. Can't wait to put in my next order for some pens and ink!
  • I love your enthusiasm! 
  • The pen is available now from TWSBI, we’re getting our shipment TODAY
  • I’m recording this Thursday morning, so something crazy could happen between the recording and publishing of this video, but it should be releasing on GouletPens.com today
  • We will be getting one follow-up order next week or two weeks from now, but that’ll be all forever 

11) Dane M.- Email (45:13)As someone still relatively new to fountain pens, I'm trying to branch out and try new things, but really have trouble adventuring past Metropolitans, Safaris, and my Vanishing Point. Are there any more "adventurous" pens that you would recommend for a noob like me? :) 

12) @blushinpencil- Twitter (48:16)

How did you get into fountain pens? Writing, collecting, etc.
  • LONG story, check out 4-year anniversary video “Reflection After 4-years
  • stumbled into at age 25 after making rollerball pens
  • the ink drew me in
  • ink and paper was my life for first year, then expanded into pens
  • Preppy, low-end Pelikans, Noodler’s, Lamy, Pilot

13) Simdhuja M.- Facebook (51:13)

Which pens have ebonite feeds and how does one differentiate ebonite to others (if any)???
  • it’s either ebonite or ABS plastic (injection molded)
  • Noodler’s uses all ebonite
  • Omas uses all ebonite
  • there may be others, but none that I know, none others at Goulet
  • ebonite is hard rubber, plastic is…plastic
  • they’re usually both dark, so you kind of have to see them yourself to know, or trust the seller advertising them 

Next week I'm going to have to shoot Q&A a little ahead of time, because I'll be in NYC at Business Gets Personal. I'll still be able to have everything uploaded and published while I'm gone though, I have a great team that helps me with that stuff now! I have a good backlog of questions so I'll be dipping into those, otherwise you just ask me what you want in the comments below and if I see it in time, I'll throw it in the mix. Be sure to check out old Q&A's you've missed here, and have a great week!

Write On,
Brian Goulet