8.27.2010

Goldspot Pens Inaugural Trunk Show Announcement


We're proud to announce our Inaugural Goldspot Pens Trunk Show!

When : Saturday & Sunday October 9th - 10th, 11am - 5pm
Where : Wolf Fine Jewelers at the Monmouth Mall, Eatontown NJ --Directions--

No reservations required. We invite you to come to our showcase of fine writing instruments and accessories. We will have representatives of several major brands on-hand with the newest and best pens, along with our impressive selection of clearance items that are up to 60% off retail price. There will also be door prizes and giveaways.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, every sale will contribute toward the Susan G. Komen Foundation for the Cure.

To receive updates and a special print-out coupon to bring to the event, please make sure you are signed up for our e-mail newsletter.

We'd love to see you there!

8.26.2010

Pen Spotlight - Manliness, Pocket Notebooks and new Pelikan


The Art of Manliness talks about pocket notebooks and their deep-rooted tradition in many walks of life. Ignoring the current "Cult of Moleskine" fad, keeping a pocket notebook has always been an essential part of the productive, artistic and intellectual mind.

Speaking of notebooks, much ado has been made of the Webbie 3.0. Karen and the folks of Exaclair, the distributors of Rhodia, have done an excellent job of getting the word out on the internet by putting their great products into hands of pen & paper fans and bloggers alike. Check out Webbie reviews on "Whatever," Peaceable Writer, and Pocket Blonde to name a few.

Take a look at these reviews:
  • Lady Dandelion gets a hold of a Pelikan m205 duo highlighter fountain pen before any of us did in the US. Beautiful photography and some great examples of handwriting to aspire you.
  • The Pen Addict takes an in-depth look at the Lamy AL-Star Aluminum rollerball, with an exploded view of pen parts.
  • I spotted this neat "Embassy" pen on Uncrate. As if the black, anodized aluminum wasn't alluring enough, the pen uses a Fisher pressurized refill (SPR4) and writes in every direction in any condition. If you check out the manufacturer's website for the pen, you'll see a video demonstration that will reveal a hidden talent of this "convertible" pen.

8.25.2010

Teaser - New Parker Premier Special Edition Black

This is a tease for all you Parker fans out there:


This is all-new Premier Special Edition Black. Apparently all-black is in style this year. I was very impressed when our Parker rep showed us the samples of these pens. The vertical brushed finish reminds me of a Lamy 2000, while the all black style is reminiscent of the Monteverde Invincia Stealth or the Retro 51 Stealth Tornado. Yes, that is an all-black, 18k solid gold nib that is plated with Ruthenium.

These will be available at Goldspot.com for pre-order within the next week or so. We expect to have the inventory by late September.

8.13.2010

Pen Spotlight - Happy Birthday Lamy Safari & a Special Announcement

Happy Friday Everyone,

Lady Dandelion has a special birthday shout-out for the Lamy Safari this week. Here's to another 30 years of getting people hooked on fountain pens. 

----

Mark your calendars for October 9th & 10th (Saturday and Sunday), we will be hosting our first-ever Pen Trunk Show in the Monmouth Mall, Eatontown, NJ! Thanks to the fine people of Wolf Fine Jewelers (link to their Facebook Page here), we have secured a great space at the mall to showcase some of the best in fine writing and accessories. Not only will the Goldspot team be there to help you, but we will also have a few of our favorite brand representatives in attendance from companies such as Aurora, OMAS, Montegrappa, Monteverde, Lamy, Filofax, Delta and Conklin.

If that isn't enough of a reason to come down to the show, we will also have tons of clearance pens from Waterman, Parker and Waterford, along with plenty of inks and refills for sale. Also, in honor of October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, every sale will contribute to Susan G. Komen For the Cure.

For our loyal Goldspot customers in the tri-state area, we will be mailing you a postcard with a special coupon to bring to the show. If you would like to be on our e-mail newsletter list to be notified with more updates about the show, please sign up for our newsletter.

Among the pens we will have on sale at the show, we will feature the Visconti Rembrandt and the Homo Sapiens Lava pens that Okami had recently reviewed on Whatever.

Have a great weekend!

8.09.2010

I have a HUNCH you don't know much about Pens...

I recently read an article in Wired Magazine about hunch.com, a new "recommendation engine" that worked on a different level than your everyday search engine like Yahoo or Google. The user informs Hunch about your personality and preferences using seemingly unrelated multiple choice questions like, "White meat or dark?" or "What do you think of Robin Hood?" From these answers, the site uses some fancy-dancy algorithm to suggest things that you would like.

My first question was : "Does it work for pens???"

$25? Are you Kidding?
Pen people are particular (say that three times fast) about what kind of writing instrument they carry around with them. Fine pens marry utility and style in a way that makes watches, jewelry and other luxury items look one-dimensional. Not only does the pen have to match aesthetic taste, but it also has to work to the writer's liking.

So, I "hunched" a recommendation for a pen. After all, who isn't looking for a new pen to drool over and scrape up couch cushion change for months to afford. I go to the topic of Fountain Pens and Hunch proceeds to ask me more questions, the first being "How much are you planning to spend?"

Apparently, they don't have many fountain pen people use the site just yet. I automatically opt for the "more than $25." I would have liked to see an option for "$50 to $100", "$100 to $200" and "more than $200".

Then, it asks me what tip size I prefer. Good follow-up question. I select fine. As I answer each question, the column on the left changes, re-prioritizing the results from top to bottom, depending on what answer I select.

"Do I have a color in mind?" asks Hunch. It only offers blue or black as the option and I wonder for a moment if it is referring to the ink or the color of the pen. "I know a pen for every color in the rainbow," I think to myself.

I look over my results at the moment : at the top spot is a Levenger True Writer (which I have two of in my collection), followed by a Mont Blanc Starwalker, Mont Blanc Meisterst├╝ck, Graf von Faber-Castell, another result for a Meisterst├╝ck and a Lamy Safari in extra-fine. With half the results showing Mont Blanc, I'm thinking that Hunch has a layperson's knowledge of fine pens. Everyone knows Mont Blanc, but ask anyone who knows pens and they will tell you that Mont Blanc is hardly the "only show in town" when it comes to pen brands.

After I select "blue" as my color preference, I notice that Hunch does not add any blue pens to my list, only shuffling the results, moving a Pelikan Souveran up to where the Faber-Castell pen was. The final question in the series was "would you prefer a retractable pen?" I think that if I say "yes," we will see some Namiki Pilot Vanishing Point fountain pens which we now have up for sale on goldspot.com However, Hunch doesn't show me any Vanishing Point pens, no Lamy Dialog 3's, not even a retractable ballpoint pen.

Compared with Googling "fountain pen," Hunch does provide you with a simpler view of actual fountain pens instead of bombarding you with "los links." In google, my results for fountain pen were dominated by stores that sell fountain pens, along with one link to wikipedia. An actual, real result for a fountain pen may be a few clicks away from that point.

Overall, Hunch was about as knowledgeable as asking a random person on the street when it comes to pens. It is slightly more intuitive, and less ad driven than Google, but it certainly does not beat asking someone who works at a pen shop...and that's what we're here for! Humans 1, Algorithms 0

8.06.2010

My, How Far We've Come

Taking a look at our 2010 Annual Catalog really brought me back. It was printed back in late October of 2009, but served as our holiday and mail order catalog for the better part of this year. On page 3, there is information about our Newsletter, Blog, Facebook and Twitter pages. As they are screenshots of the pages at the time, it's almost like taking a photograph of the old house you used to live in.

Back in October '09 we had..
67 Facebook "Fans" (when they used to be called Fans)
107 Twitter Followers
& completely different blog & e-mail newsletter formats.

What difference a year makes!
490 Facebook "peoples who like" (which I still refer to as Fans) 731% increase
334 Twitter Followers 312% increase

I don't think I could voice my appreciation enough for everyone who has followed and supported Goldspot in our various social media efforts. Your readership and participation are extremely valued.

8.04.2010

Pen Spotlight - Carnival & Ed Hardy Notebooks

Hey kids, it's Carnival Time, hosted by Daydreamers Welcome. The editor's choice article was not of the usual pen & paper crowd, but a fun read, nonetheless.

There has been much fanfare and some criticism over the newly released Noodler's fountain pens, and OfficeSupplyGeek threw in his hat in reviewing the Noodler's Aerometric filling fountain pen.

Okami reviews a very unique composition notebook from teNeues that features an Ed Hardy flaming tiger on the cover. While it is a very colorful and fun design, the Ed Hardy brand has developed this stigma from people who wear the label's clothing. I won't go into detail, but I will just say that we live near the Jersey Shore, so we know.

Getting to work on our big, annual catalog this week! It will be chocked full of new goodies from most of the brands we sell online. It will also feature several new brands that we just started carrying this year, including Rhodia, Moleskine, Pilot and ST Dupont. If there are any features or comments that you would like to see in the newest Goldspot issue, please feel free to comment!

Also, we have a huge announcement coming up! To give you a clue, it has to do with something going on in October.