Carolyn Browne Tamler

has helped hundreds of businesses and organizations with her thoughtful facilitation and research services. She also writes colorful and compelling articles about new business initiatives! Would this help you? Call Carolyn today!

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    2055 Pheasant Farm Lane
    Freeland, WA 98249

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    10-12-17 It takes passion and a vision to create a business

    Some people might say money is the primary requirement to start a business. You definitely have to be able to afford all of the costs associated with creating and promoting a new business, but I believe the most important element is a passion about what you are doing.

    Recently, I described several new Whidbey businesses in the Business Spotlight stories on Whidbey Local.

    Over the years I have done many stories for the Business Spotlight on, and there is a common theme: People who have their own businesses are passionate about what they do and have a vision of what they want to create.

    This is especially important if you are starting an entirely new business, filling a niche that has not been filled before.

    Besides the money necessary to establish a business, there is an incredible investment of energy and time. I have observed that while the desire to make money is a major player in creating a business, there is often far more interest in the products or services and a desire to share these with others.

    When I walk into a retail store, or talk about products or services with someone, I immediately feel their sense of commitment to what they are offering. And when the owner of the business communicates their passion and enthusiasm, it certainly is a great incentive to do business with them.



    10-5-17 Collaboration can be a great marketing tool for artists

    If you follow my Blogs, you know that one of my major themes is the value of collaboration. In my experience, most businesses, especially retail ones, usually increase their sales when they collaborate with other related businesses.

    Recently, I have done stories in the Business Spotlight on Whidbey Local for four Whidbey art galleries:

    • The Galleries at Greenbank establish a new tradition: Second Saturday of the Month, October 9, 2017 (watch for it on Monday)
    •  A Journey from Rotterdam to Langley: Rob Schouten opens his new gallery, October 2, 2017
    • Whidbey Art Gallery marks its 25th year, May 22, 2017

    Each of these galleries includes several artists who work with a broad range of art mediums.  Because there is such a rich variety that changes frequently, many people come to the galleries on a regular basis to see what’s new.

    Whidbey Art Gallery in Langley and Artworks Gallery at Greenbank Farm are both co-op galleries where the artists contribute to the operation, as well as showing their art.

    What a great way for an artist to have lots of exposure and a large market from which to draw customers.


    9-28-17 The courage to create a business

    I have enormous respect for anyone who has the courage to start a business, especially a retail business that requires so many skills and so much energy. I am impressed with anyone who has the commitment and energy to open a store front business, deal with all of the aspects of obtaining and displaying merchandise and be there to greet customers (with many small retail businesses, the owner often handles everything until the business generates enough income to support hiring help).

    Retail communities on Whidbey have many small business owners. There are also retail businesses along the highway up and down the island.

    I have made a personal commitment to shop at the independent businesses on the island whenever I can. I sometimes hear people talk about prices being lower across the water (of course, there is a ferry cost to add into this). I am willing to pay higher prices, if necessary (and this isn’t always the case), to support our local businesses.

    I hope you too will make a commitment to support our local businesses as much as possible. These small, retail stores add to the special environment of Whidbey, as much as the beautiful scenery and the sweet community.



    9-21-17 There is a new business trend on South Whidbey: More young people are becoming business owners and managers

    I have heard several people comment that there are a lot more old faces than young faces on South Whidbey.

    In writing my Business Spotlight Stories in the last couple of months I have uncovered what may be a new trend: Young people starting or managing businesses.  Three of the last seven stories I have written tell about these new entrepreneurs:

    All of these business people are between 25 and 31 years of age, and all are people who have lived on Whidbey previously and have made a choice to return here, rather than live in a major city.

    Just walking around businesses in Clinton and Langley, I also see younger men and women who are running businesses and enjoy living in this community.

    I recently saw an article in the local newspaper that there has also been an uptick in babies being born here.

    It seems like there is a significant business trend here: Choosing to have a business in a community where you want to live and raise a family.


    9-14-17 Are emails and texts good forms of communication and are we losing some of our communication skills?

    I’ve talked about this subject in earlier emails, but I am starting to have real concerns about whether the generations coming after me, and after my children, are going to lose basic communication skills.

    Have you received an email with several misspellings or grammatical errors?

    Have you had numerous text exchanges with someone and finally gave up and made a phone call to resolve something?

    Have you received a group email that got sent around several times to several people, including you?

    Do you find yourself sometimes struggling to get through a long email, only to reach the end and realize you’re still not sure what it was all about?

    Have you sent an email or a text assuming the other person would understand your words and your tone, only to get a response back that didn’t really relate to your intentions?

    I’m sure you can come up with several other items to put on this list. In our high speed communication age, we rapidly email and text and tweet several times a day (our new President believes in this). But are we really communicating?  There are some disagreements about how much human communication is non-verbal, but I think that we all can agree that lacking voice intonation, facial expression, body language and simply feeling another person’s energy, words alone will not necessarily convey thoughts accurately.

    I have a bit of a silly streak in me (those who know me might say it is more than a bit). I learned a long time ago never to use my silliness in an email unless I was absolutely sure that the person knew me well enough to understand the communication (and I’m not sure it’s wise to send anyone a silly email). Of course, I can add an imogi, but……

    Here are a few suggestions to avoid misunderstandings when emailing or texting:

    • Keep it short and simple
    • If at all possible, save your sincere, serious communications for in-person or by phone
    • Read every email over before you press “Send”
    • If you are sending out a longer email or something with important information, make sure you have someone else read it before you send it
    • If you are feeling angry or frustrated with someone, DO NOT send them an email or text and let them know this; cool down first, and then make a phone call
    • If you are sending an email to a group of people, use the bcc, even if everyone knows each other; it will seem more personal and it will be impossible for someone else to press the “Reply all” and send out swirling emails that can drive us crazy.

    Better yet, whenever possible, call or meet with the person to whom you are sending an email.