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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    p:| 360.222.6820
    c:| 425.351.7531

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    2055 Pheasant Farm Lane
    Freeland, WA 98249

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    10-11-18 Can a cat take over your business?

    (This was a Blog I published last year, but it is still a description of my business life)

    Although I am officially retired I, like many other seniors, do not want to stop working and doing something that I feel has value in our community.

    In my case, when I moved on from my marketing research and public involvement consulting business that had been my work identity for more than 40 years, I morphed into becoming a business writer.

    I enjoy doing interviews and composing stories. When the time comes to write the stories, I am at my computer.

    We have a rescue cat that came with the name of Dash. Once he was convinced we were not going to return him to the Cat Cottage, he became our buddy, rarely more than six feet away from one of us.

    As those who have cats know, you really don’t own a cat because he (or she) believes you are there to serve them.

    Recently, I was at my computer finishing another “Business Spotlight” story when Dash showed up and sat down on my computer, right in front of me. I am pretty sure he was simply saying, “Notice me.” Several times I said, “Dash get off of there”….and he refused to budge. I finally had to push him off.

    He wasn’t happy that I didn’t understand his cat speak.






    10-3-18 Good marketing: Getting the whole family involved

    I just published a story for the Business Spotlight about Bart’s Better Foods (Bart’s Better Foods Provides Healthy Food Alternatives available on Whidbey -

    There are many things about this story that really resonate with my major marketing themes: Filling a niche, having a passion about what you are selling and developing some key marking themes. 

    But I was also impressed that this is a family business: The Zefferys involved in the business include brother and sister and mom and dad. In a small community like Whidbey, there are several businesses that have been passed on from parent to child, and some where families contribute money to support a business a daughter or son is developing.  This is the first time I have had the experience of talking with four members of a family who are all involved and committed to creating a new business with several new products.  Right now, Bart’s Better Foods products are being sold on-line, at the Bayview Farmer’s Market (till the end of October) and at Payless Foods.

    How much Bart’s Better Foods will expand to serve other markets remains to be seen. But for now, it’s really delightful to see how the business is growing.


    9-27-18 Doing something you love defines many of the business owners on Whidbey

    One of my on-going themes for having a successful business is the importance of being passionate about what you do.  I have written several stories about people who moved to Whidbey and became entrepreneurs, often doing something very different on the island than they had done previously.

    Then, I got this response that really impressed me:

    “I once had a business that was also my passion but I found that when you absolutely must earn a living from that thing, it can take the joy and pleasure right out of the thing that once fed your soul. For me, it's been much easier to NOT earn money from "what makes me passionate," but to do something else that can enable me to do my passion outside of work, without it having to be reduced to the grind of needing to make me money.“

    I’ve read this over several times.  I certainly understand the point that was made. 

    I think what I have observed is that many people who move to Whidbey need to find a different way to earn a living since there are relatively few jobs on the island.  Many decide to follow a dream they have had but never acted upon.  Running any kind of a business isn’t easy, but I have crossed paths with many who moved to the island, decided to do something as a business that they had never done before, and find themselves feeling very contented with their business choice….even if it isn’t earning the money they might have gotten from their city job off the island.

    There really is no pat answer to the dilemma of job/business satisfaction vs. making enough money to live comfortably.  Obviously, if you can follow a passion and earn as much as you need to get by, it’s a formula for a happier lifestyle.



    9-20-18 Being an active participant in the community is also good business

    The Goose Grocer, which is associated with Goosefoot, is one of the best local examples I know of a business that gives back to the community.


    I did a Whidbey Local story this past week ( that highlighted a new Store Director, but also described ways in which The Goose Grocer is very involved with the South Whidbey community.

    Here is a excerpt from the article:

    The Goose Grocer is owned by Goosefoot Community Fund, a 501(c)(3) non-profit economic and community development organization on South Whidbey. Goosefoot is committed to using its real estate properties and collaborative partnerships to “Achieve a vision of a thriving, socially and economically vibrant community on South Whidbey” according to Executive Director Sandra Whiting. 

    Profits from The Goose are continuing to grow and provide more support to The Goosefoot vision of service to the community.

    In other words, being involved and committed to being a part of the community is playing a significant role in making the The Goose Grocer a successful business.



    9-13-18 Sometimes a good business evolves organically

    The latest story posted on the Business Spotlight is about Designer Consigner in Freeland

    Katie Ginn began her business as a consignment book store called “Book Lovers” seven years ago. Word got around and for a while her business was growing. But, as time passed more people began going to the internet to shop for books.

    Four years ago one of her friends brought in some quality clothing to see if Katie had any interest in seeing if she could sell it. Katie agreed, and then another idea began to evolve. Her business name moved from “Book Lovers” to “Designer Consigner”, and her business has flourished selling quality women’s clothing and accessories.

    Her story is special because she had an intuitive response to the idea her friend suggested, and Designer Consigner has filled a special niche providing quality women’s clothing and accessories she sells on consignment.

    I think part of creating a successful business is being open to new ideas.