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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    7-12-18 A creative collaboration: The Big W Food Truck and Double Bluff Brewing in Langley

    Recently I asked if you had visited Langley lately and noticed all of the new businesses.

    I forgot to mention one that is just in Langley for the summer months: The Big W Food Truck.

    What is especially blog-worthy besides the creativity of the food truck operated by Joe Wierzbowski , is that he and Daniel Thomis of Double Bluff Brewery, just around the corner from the Big W Truck, have formed a collaboration to promote each other.

    When you place your food order at The Big W Truck, there is a sign posted next to the menu inviting you to take your order to Double Bluff Brewery, buy a beer and enjoy your lunch in the lovely patio.

    The value of collaborations is one of my major themes. It is definitely an effective marketing tool for each of the businesses that collaborate.

    Read the article on Whidbey Local


    7-5-18 The joy of a small-town 4th of July parade and our small-town life style

    One of the elements that makes South Whidbey Island a special place to do business is our small-town atmosphere. I’d always lived in big cities (Los Angeles, Seattle, Bellevue) before I moved to Whidbey Island (Greenbank and then Freeland).

    This small-town feeling applies to many other aspects of living here, but it also makes this a special place to have a business. It’s important to do your part to have a business that connects with people in the community and contributes to our style of life. You can feel that connection when you walk into a retail business or simply work with someone who has a service they provide.

    And, you could feel that sense of our small-town community at the annual Maxwelton 4th of July Parade. All of the “floats” are homemade using trucks, trailers, tractors, bicycles and whatever else people can use.  This year’s parade took over an hour from beginning to end, and the streets were lined with hundreds (maybe more than that) of adults and children, locals and visitors, all having fun.

    Rich and I had the special privilege to ride on a float created by Helen Price Johnson’s husband, Dave, that promoted many of the local Democratic candidates.

    Helen sent me a note that really touched me about the meaning of this holiday and this kind of parade and living in our community:

    “If you're like me, I get fatigued by the daily news reports of outrageous behavior. But being against the craziness isn't enough. To be effective, we must focus on our positive message of public service, accountability, due process, environmental protection and human rights. Tell people what you stand for. Ask candidates what they stand for. Speak up for what you believe in, not just what we reject.”


    6-28-18 Emotions and outrage can generate a lot of response

    I usually write in my Blog about business items, but something happened recently relating to my Moveonwhidbey Facebook page that really grabbed my attention.

    I told the story of how Melania Trump's jacket she wore on the way to see the immigrant children - "I don't really care, do U" really sparked a lot of responses, include considerable outrage by many.

    The response that New York illustrator Justin Teodoro's drawing created really demonstrated the feelings of many who saw the photos of the first lady.

    As of today, 265 people have seen this on my Moveonwhidbey Facebook page........more than anything I have ever posted there.  Seems like outrage is a very powerful motivator for many people.

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    6-21-18 Obtaining a zip code is an important marketing tool

    One of the most basic pieces of information that can help you make better decisions about where to place your marketing efforts is knowing where your customers live.

    A simple method to answer this question is to create a system where you get the zip code of every person who comes into your business or contacts you to make a purchase. This can be done on a computer or by doing listings and hatch marks on a piece of paper near your register (OK, I know this doesn’t sound very high-tech, but it works).

    You can keep track of these zip code tabulations by the month or season, or after you have done an advertisement or a special promotion.

    Once you see the patterns, it can provide you with valuable information about where, geographically, to focus your energies and your advertising dollars.



    6-14-18 It’s the beginning of tourist season, and a retail business owner’s most important job is making a person feel welcome coming into your store

    I wrote about this a year ago. I believe it still contains an important message for any retail business on Whidbey.

    My husband and I were in San Mateo last year.  It’s a charming small city in the Bay Area. We went into a store that was selling a variety of gift items.  We walked in and after a few minutes, we realized that no one greeted us, or even looked at us.

    We waited for someone to notice us....and none of the staff looked up from what they were doing; no one made eye contact or said “Hello” or “We’ll be with you in just a minute.”  We waited.  Finally, my husband said, “Let’s go somewhere else.”  And, we did.

    I can imagine the young staff had had a long day, or some cranky customers, or were just anxious to be done with their work day and head home.  

    But, as the customer, my only concern was being waited on, or at least having someone greet me and say they would be helping me soon.  I wanted to feel welcome.

    As we move into the tourist season on Whidbey, it’s important for a retail store to make every customer feel welcome as soon as they walk into the store. This  is always important, but especially true when many strangers may be stopping by your business.

    Anyone who is meeting the public in a business must always be aware of the power of that first moment when a potential customer walks through the door.  More than anything else, a customer must be noticed and made to feel welcomed.