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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    4-21-17 A smile is contagious and good for business

    Shawn Achor has become one of the world’s leading experts on the connection between happiness and success. He is the CEO of Good Think Inc. ( where he researches and teaches about positive psychology.

    One of the concepts he discusses is how a smile is contagious (I think I remember being told this when I was a child).  It turns out that when you smile, it creates changes in your brain (all positive).  When you smile at someone else, whether they smile back at your or not, their brain replicates the same responses your brain is having, using “mirror neurons”.

    If your business involves face-to-face meetings with your customers, a smile will definitely make someone more interested in doing business with you. Smiling more will actually make you feel happier. Actually, this is a great practice for everyone that you see, whether they’re customers or not.

    Just ask yourself: Wouldn’t you rather do business with someone whose presence makes you feel good?


    4-14-16 Passion and the desire to grow a business are essential when creating a new business 

    The Business Spotlight story this week on Whidbey Local is about Sassy Siren, a woman’s accessory store, in Langley ( As I interviewed Jennifer Krouse, who bought the business two years ago, I heard a lot of the themes that I have expressed in these blogs.

    After expanding the lines and looking for products that would appeal to a larger base, Jennifer had the courage to move into a space that became available next door. Her expanded Sassy Siren is double the previous space (she now has 600 sf.). Besides having a much greater variety of merchandise, she continues to build upon.

    She is concerned that her products are quality-made. And, she is striving to find more local products to sell. She is also creating some special sales days specifically to attract locals to her business.

    Jennifer expressed her vision to me: “I have a strong drive to make this business grow.”

    She seems well on her way to attaining her vision for Sassy Siren.



    4-7-16 The value of working with a hometown bank

    Some Whidbey people were concerned when Whidbey Island Bank became a “division of Heritage Bank.”  Many of us were worried that we would lose the friendly local bank we have all appreciated.

    After over a year as part of Heritage Bank, I’ve learned we don’t have to worry. Yesterday, my husband received a personal call from someone at Heritage Bank to let him know that they noticed Rich’s debit card had been used for a transaction in Mexico the same day Rich used the card at our local Payless Grocery Store.

    The bank didn’t honor the debit from Mexico, and called Rich to make sure this was the correct action. Our account is fine.

    Also today, I learned from Anne Bobinac, the manager of the Freeland branch of Whidbey Island Bank (now Heritage) that the bank would continue to support many of the local non-profits that they have supported in the past….including Whidbey Children’s Theater (I’m on the Board). They will be one of the program sponsors for Seussical the Musical being performed this summer.

    If you still have any concerns about Heritage Bank, I urge you to talk with your local bank people, who will personally respond to you.

    As I have said many times before, creating a satisfied customer is the best marketing any business can do.

    And, this local bank is continuing to do just that.


    3-31-16 Collaboration works again: Locally and in Tunisia 

    Greening Congregations Collaborative of Whidbey Island

    A local collaboration of seven local churches accomplished the passage of legislation that will make a significant difference in the lives of children.  The Toxic-Free Kids & Families Act, which was passed on March 8, is a bill that prevents manufacturers of children’s products and family furniture from using Tris, a toxic flame retardant.

    The bill had been unable to reach the floor of the State Senate for five years.  Island resident Ted Brookes, a representative of the collaborative, played an integral part working with 10th L.D. Senator Barbara Bailey to get the bill to move forward.

    I believe a lot of the American culture pushes the idea of a single individual accomplishing great things.  But, as I’ve said many times before, I love what happens when several people come together to collaborate to make something happen, whether it’s promoting a business community or accomplishing a political action.

    Note: The full story is in an article that appeared in the South Whidbey Record on March 26, 2016.

    Tunisia: The rise of a democracy in the Arab world

     Just saw, “Where to Invade Next,” at The Clyde Theater.  This is Michael Moore’s latest film, and seeing how women came together to change the whole political culture of Tunisia (the only Democracy in the Arab world according to Wikipedia) is about the strongest statement I’ve ever seen about the power of collaboration.



    3-24-16 A retail business owner’s most important job is to make a person feel welcome coming into your store

    Recently, my husband and I stopped off at a takeout restaurant on our way back to Whidbey.  We had been to the place before.  The restaurant was busy, and we stood in line behind two people waiting for service.

    We waited for our turn....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.

    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.