I live in the frozen north – in Quebec. But my favorite place to shop for pens and paper is in Virginia. If not for the Internet, it would be a long walk. The place is Goulet Pens.
They stock my favorite Rhodia and Clairfontaine journals and notepads. They stock a wide array of fountain pens, though mostly those that are reasonably priced. Oh…and the array of inks they sell is to die for. I sometimes play with their “Swab Shop” which is an online facility that lets me compare colors of all of their inks even though I tell myself I don’t need any new ink. It’s just fun. And, of course, one can never have too many inks.
But it’s not their products that excite me about Goulet Pens. It’s Rachel and Brian Goulet and their approach to business. They’re not just selling pens and paper. They LOVE pens and paper and they LOVE their customers. Well, maybe that last thing is a bit strong but they sure act like they like them.
Each week they conduct “Write Time”, which is a live-streamed video and associated chat room. They discuss new products, answer questions, and laugh and joke with their customers. It’s a hoot.
Brian and Rachel also produce a great blog called Ink Nouveau where they provide a lot of great information about fountain pens, and the various paper products they sell. They have a YouTube channel where you can access a growing catalog of videos (currently 87 of them), and each provides valuable information about paper and pen products, tricks for maintaining and improving pens, etc. In short, they work hard for their customers and regularly bring a couple of bright-eyed smiles to our computer screens. We all smile back.
I’m having one small problem with one of their products, though. I just received an order and they included a freebie. It was one of their new Goulet Pens bookmarks. Just the thing, they say, for marking your place in a book. I guess it works ok but I’m having trouble getting used to using it.
Cheers — Larry