Sunday, November 6, 2011

I'm Back! and a Goulet Pen Company Review

So, some of you have missed my blog (thank you both of you, I <3 my fans!). To be honest, I got frustrated with doing all the typing and loading of pictures..and correspondingly totally ran out of things to review or to say. I know, hard impossible to believe I had nothing to say--

Happily, I have some new things to review, and I have missed blogging lots, so I plan to actually make a "blog post schedule". That's right! Semi-regular blogging! This post schedule will be kept in my Filofax for now, although regrettably, not in fountain pen ink (special note for all my fellow FiloCracks).

As some of my Tweeps know, I have gotten mildly totally madly obsessed with fountain pens and inks lately.  I was already mad keen on papers of all sorts, and had tried fountain pens before, but was never particularly satisfied with my fountain pen/ink experience. I honestly don't know how I found The Goulet Pen Company, but since I have--boy howdy have I gone kabonkers! I will save recent pen/ink acquisitions for another post, but I wanted to share with you a review of The Goulet Pen Company.

The Goulet Pen Company is located in Virginia and headed by Brian and Rachel Goulet. You can read about how their company got started here. They carry fountain pens of all sorts, calligraphy pens, some roller ball pens, fountain pen and calligraphy ink, and paper to use your pens and ink on. Pens run the gamut from Edison Pen Company offerings right down to the Platinum Preppy pens, which I adore.  Most of the paper they carry is from Exaclair--the gold standard of fountain pen friendly papers. They carry a plethora of fountain pen ink, and are due to get more soon, including  Rohrer and Klingner and De Atramentis.

Their website boasts what is known as "The Swab Shop", which shows scanned swabs of the inks that they carry. Also in The Swab Shop, you can compare ink swabs, which is absolutely brilliant, and totally unique in the fountain pen/ink world! You can also purchase samples of all of their inks, which is one of my favorite things about Goulet.  I have ordered countless samples of inks to try, and I can't tell you how awesome it is not only to try so many inks--which is more fun than a barrel of monkeys--but to be able to try an ink BEFORE you buy a bottle (or a dozen) of ink that you end up not liking.

Goulet's prices are reasonable, and they ship uber fast. I placed an order last Tuesday, and received it on Friday, much to my delight! I wanted to include a few pictures of how they wrap your precious inks/pens/papers, because their packaging system is outstanding. This is the box that I received Friday:

Inside this box was this box:

Then this:

As you can see, all of my merchandise is wrapped in bubble wrap which is taped down really well. They also included a bookmark and a sticker, and that's my invoice. There is always a hand-written note on your invoice--awesome personal touch in the modern age of such crappy customer service from so many companies. (Altogether another rant, some of which I have already shared here)

 After the bubble wrap was off, it looked like this:

You can see my whack of sample vials through the plastic wrap. HOURS of unbridled inky entertainment!

And we've arrived at the merchandise--all held perfectly still in shipping, and all in a tidy little package. (Wish I could afford a tidy HUGE package, but alas and alack...mostly a lack). Any hoo,  I ordered a whack of ink samples,  two bottles of Noodler's Ink in Saguaro Wine and Green, a bottle of Aurora Ink in Black, two new Platinum Preppy pens for my mom, and another Noodler's Flex Nib Creaper for me, this time in clear.

This is how my fingers looked after I was done playing with samples of ink:

Underneath you can see my Rhodia Webbie (which I won from Rhodia Drive, and I'll review in another post) that I adore to distraction. That black is still on my fingers--quality stuff!

The Goulet Pen Company's customer service is just so top-notch! Twice, after I've placed an order, I've emailed them with something I wanted to add to the order. Both times, they have kindly added my merchandise to my order with no problems. They've quickly responded to any emails I've sent them as well, and have been super helpful when I've had pen or ink questions and needed assistance or recommendations.

Brian Goulet has a blog called Ink Nouveau, and it is chock full of useful and helpful information about the products they carry. Brian and Rachel also do a weekly live broadcast called Write Time at 9;  it's on Wednesday nights at 9 p.m. Eastern Time. They usually talk about the goings on at Goulet, but they have also interviewed Nathan Tardif of Noodler's Ink, and Brian Gray of Edison Pen Company.

All in all, a completely pleasant experience with The Goulet Pen Company, and I can see why they have a bit of a "cult" following. (I hesitated to use that word, but read about the October Flexpocalypse and you'll see it may not be missing the mark by much). Their following is totally deserved though, and I know that Brian and Rachel have worked very, very hard to cultivate and keep this following by providing outstanding customer service and far exceeding customer expectations. I'm (obviously) a bit of a "Goulet Groupie" myself, and can't wait until I can order some more inky goodness!  I can safely say that if you order from them, you'll enjoy the process AND the product.

I hope you've enjoyed my review, and I hope you'll stop by and take a look at The Goulet Pen Company.  I will be reviewing some of the new items (and a few of the older ones as well) I've purchased at Goulet soon: stay tuned!


  1. Oh yay! One of my favorite companies! Just earmark a part of your check each month because they keep finding more and more products we "NEED" and the boxes get bigger and bigger because it's so much fun to play with, I mean use, all the wonderful things.

    Make sure you log onto the Fountain Pen Network so you can learn about all the other fantastic companies, i.e. pen pushers, out there. Seems like excellent customer service and good manners are irretrievably linked with fountain pen goodies!

  2. Great review! I don't use fountain pens but know where to look if I start!

  3. Beth: (why does your name sound so familiar?) Already a member of FPN, I love it there! So many nice folks!!
    I know--the firs thing I think (after bills are paid) every pay day is "How many bottles of ink can I buy?" haha.

  4. you are my hero! :)

  5. Sherry: Glad to be somebody's! My kids think I'm a dork ;O)

  6. Great review! And bang on, I'd say - I just got my first order from the Goulet Pens and was blown away by the care put into the packaging, shipping, and everything else, right down to the hand written note on my order! I'm so excited you're blogging again! :D Will you be doing Youtube vids too? Because your videos are adorable!

  7. Azizah: *blushes* Thanks! I hope to do some videos soon,yes--glad you like them :D
    What did you get from Goulet??

  8. *GIGGLE* I'm gonna post a pic of each item on my blog right away! I'll tweet a link to it!

  9. HI, RORI!!!!

    I'm so glad to see this blog back, Rori! Thanks, also, for introducing me to the Goulet Pens Co. & their swab shop, I've only ordered from them twice, but so far, so good :) And you are absolutely right - their packaging of the inks is superb!

  10. awesome Rori! You're back! That looked like a fantastic package of goodies you received. Fountain pens, huh? Hmmmm.

  11. Hey, Rori!

    Glad you're back! And yay for fountain pen madness- I'm still in love with my Lamy and italic nib.

    I've slowed down a bit on ink purchasing insanity, but I know where I'll have to look next time I'm in the mood for a new color!

  12. Wow, this is just amazing! Thank you so much, Rori! Rachel and I have shared your post with all of our staff, and we're all so proud to see such enthusiasm for the way we're doing things :) You really laid it all right out there, I don't think you missed a thing! We're completely flattered and pumped to keep it up and continue to keep innovating. We have some cool ideas for future stuff too, so you'll probably want to do a follow-up post soon! :)

  13. @Terri and @J Thanks!

    @Brian WOW. Thanks for the kind comments! RE "cool ideas for future stuff", ruh roh...there goes my
    Thanks for making our hobby that much more enjoyable, and thanks again for such outstanding customer service!

  14. Excellent review, Rori! And so good to have you back in blogland ... ;-)