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

    f:| 360.222.6820

    2055 Pheasant Farm Lane
    Freeland, WA 98249

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    11- 20 -14 Another excellent example of collaboration: Artworks Gallery in Greenbank

    If you have followed my Blogs, you know that I believe that collaboration is a great business practice for just about any kind of business. 

    A few weeks ago I wrote a story that was published on Whidbey Local about the Whidbey Art Gallery, a collaborative venture in Downtown Langley for several local artists.

    After the story appeared, I received a phone call from Judith Burns who handles the publicity for Artworks Gallery at Greenbank Farm.  She asked if I could write a story about Artworks Gallery.

    My response: of course!  

    Like Whidbey Art Gallery, Artworks Gallery is a collaborative that requires each participating artist to share in the operation and management of the gallery.  In exchange, the artist gets to show his/her art in an attractive setting, without having to pay for a space or all of the other expenses of being a single business owner.

    Collaboration benefits the shopper, as well as the business owner.  Having several businesses at a single address, or near to each other (as in a business community that promotes a location) makes it much easier for a shopper to check out many choices.

    Read about Artworks Gallery on Whidbey Local


    11-13-14 Fred Lundahl offers another pearl of wisdom from a successful Langley merchant

    One of the biggest boosters of the businesses in Langley is Fred Lundahl.  He and his wife, Sharon, own the incredible store, Music for the Eyes.  It is the first place I take visitors when they come to Whidbey Island.

    Aside from the astonishing array of oriental rugs and thousands of other one-of-a-kind items, Music for the Eyes boasts the services of Fred Lundahl.  When he is in the store, he makes a point of reaching out to strangers and asking if there’s anything about Langley or Whidbey they’d like to know.  Often, he describes other businesses they’ll want to see, as well as many of the lovely places to visit on the island.

    He has a motto he believes everyone in business needs to remember (and it’s a great motto for all of us who encounter people we don’t know): “Be not inhospitable to strangers lest they be angels in disguise”


    11-6-14 Good suggestions from a wise, successful Langley merchant

    Making eye contact, smiling and saying “Hello” when a customer (and everyone is a potential customer) comes into your business are the most important ways to make a good first impression.  If you’ve read my blogs, you’ve heard this many times before.

    Cynthia Tilkin, who has had her successful business,  In the Country,  in Downtown Langley for 25 years, agrees that a friendly welcome is important but cautions business people about overwhelming a new person coming into the store. She advises "Never ask a customer a question that could be answered with a 'No.'" The classic example is asking, “May I help you?” 

    Instead, Cynthia says simply invite the person to enjoy visiting your store and let you know if anything else is needed.

    A customer should feel a friendly atmosphere in a business, but be permitted to relax and get to know the place without any pressure.  Fiorella Coleman, who has worked for Cynthia for 22 of the 25 years the store has been in business, shares Cynthia’s advice.  She describes In the Country as “1,500 square feet of a giant closet with a wide array of clothing and accessories where people are invited to walk around and have fun.”

    That sounds very inviting to me.


    10-30-14 Whidbey Art Gallery in Langley is another great example of the power of collaboration

    I’ve written before about my great admiration for anyone who has the courage to create their own business. And, I’ve done several blogs about the value of collaboration.

    I just did a story for Whidbey Local about the Whidbey Art Gallery in Langley and it is a great illustration of these two themes. Becoming a professional artist is challenging enough. Simply figuring how and where to sell artwork can take a lot of time and energy. Becoming part of a cooperative gallery provides space for displaying the work, ideas and support from others who are sharing the space, and a much smaller investment in marketing.

    There are currently 32 artists who are members of the gallery, and each has a responsibility for being on the sales floor a few hours a week and doing whatever else is needed to maintain Whidbey Art Gallery as a place people want to visit. The gallery is an inviting space, with each artist’s work attractively displayed, and there is a broad range of artistic mediums and prices to appeal to a broad audience. The gallery has a website and a Facebook page.

    Check out the story and see the value of collaboration at work:


    10-23-14 Humans still communicate mostly non-verbally

    Recently, I walked into a business and the person behind the counter focused on the computer and the transaction, but didn’t look at me. My immediate response was to tell myself not to do business here again.

    Even in today’s internet world, most small business owners/managers frequently meet customers face to face.  Depending on what source you check out, you’ll find that human communication is 70 – 90% non-verbal.  Yep, even with today’s texting and networking, most true human communication is done without words. 

    How often have you received or sent an email or text message only to learn later that the communication was misinterpreted or misunderstood? 

    We obviously can’t make personal contact with every possible person who may do business with us, but when we meet someone coming into our business, it’s vitally important to make eye contact, have a smile and  let that person know you appreciate their business.  Interestingly, you will also find that when you smile you activate mirror neurons that makes the other person feel better.

    Here’s an excellent article I discovered about this: