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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    7-21-16 Promote your business and help support the Whidbey Children’s Theater  

    One of the major ways that a Whidbey business can develop excellent PR and market the business is by making donations to some of the many worthy non-profits on Whidbey Island.


    I happen to be on the board of the Whidbey Children’s Theater, and I am always impressed with what this organization does for children’s self-esteem by providing a place that is totally accepting of who they are.


    WCT has been building a program of sustaining memberships with local business owners. For $35 a month (and you can certainly do more if you want), you receive several benefits including s 1/8 page ad in our playbill for the season and two tickets to a show of your choice, plus lots of acknowledgements from WCT in its communications with the public.

    It’s a great way to let the community know that you are supporting a very worthy organization and it’s certainly a reasonably priced way to purchase advertising that will be seen by hundreds of theater goers over the course of an entire season.

    Deadline for reserving a space in the playbill is July 29th, so If you are interested, please call the office this week at 360-221-8707.


    7-14-16 Another example of filling a business niche: Ruby’s Closet in Freeland  

    I’ve written before about how much easier it is to market a business when that business fills a niche. By definition, a business niche means that there is a need for a particular business that hasn’t been met yet.

    I just interviewed Kari Daumen who own’s Ruby’s Closet, a consignment store for baby and young children’s clothing and toys, as well as good quality new toys, strollers and other baby needs. Kari has two children, who are now approaching 5 and 1. When she became a mother, she became aware that there was nowhere on the south end of Whidbey to shop for her children’s needs.

    Kari did a lot of research and she had some wonderful Whidbey serendipity come her way. She opened Ruby’s Closet nearly four years ago and has seen the business grow as people in the community have learned what she offers. She is providing a much needed service, and, as an added work benefit,  she is able to bring her children to the store with her (and she invites shoppers to let their kids play in the store while they shop).

    The full story has been posted in Business Spotlight of  .  It certainly can be an example for other businesses that can fill a niche on Whidbey.



    7-7-16 Environmentally responsible agriculture: A growing way of marketing

    Rich and I just returned from a trip to Northern California where we visited with many family members, including a two-day visit to an organic, permaculture and bio-dynamic farm run by his cousins.

    We received a tour of the property that included looking at ponds containing rainwater run-off that is circulated using solar energy and provides a source of water for irrigation without impacting the water supply in the community. Solar panels were everywhere, supplying most of the energy needs of the farm. There is a relationship between the animals and the agriculture where each helps the other. The ponds have tiny fish that eat the mosquitos. No pesticides or chemical fertilizers are used anywhere on the property.

    Interestingly, in the nearby small town, large signs at some of the restaurants invited customers to come in and enjoy food that was raised using organically raised produce and animal products.

    I know there is an ethic on Whidbey, and in many other places, where people look for products that are raised in these environmentally ways.

    For a growing segment of the population, eating foods that have been grown organically and where there has been little impact on the environment makes them feel they are contributing to the well-being of our planet and supporting businesses that have these ethical standards.


     (Note: If you know of a farm on Whidbey that operates this way, I would enjoy doing a story about them for Business Spotlight.)


    6-30-16 Creativity is often easier within a group

    I understand that many artists find their creative expression on their own. They have a creative concept for a piece of artwork or music, and they execute the idea on their own.

    However, it has been my experience that if you ask a single person to come up with a creative idea for a plan or a marketing concept, or simply a way to solve a problem, often there is a deer-in-the-headlights moment.

    That’s why I love bringing people together and facilitating a discussion that will generate creative ideas and solutions to problems. The most productive group number is 10; not sure why (in Jewish tradition 10 is a “minion” or the amount needed to have a formal meeting process), but this does seem to be the magic number where everyone feels comfortable about speaking up and sharing opinions and ideas. Less than 10, and sometimes the discussion isn’t quite as lively; more than 10, and it becomes a bit more difficult to control.

    I do want to stress the need to have a good facilitator for a group process. It’s important that time is controlled, that the discussion stays focused and that everyone in the discussion feels comfortable speaking up.

    It’s also interesting to me that some of the most creative ideas coming out of someone in a group have been preceded by the phrase, “I really don’t know much about this, but……”

    To summarize: Bring people together in the group that have some kind of common interest (community, interests, knowledge, etc.); have an agenda that is followed as much as possible; create an atmosphere where everyone in the group feels comfortable speaking up; and make sure that no one individual dominates the conversation (I usually say something like, “I can see you feel strongly about this, now I’d like to hear what someone else has to say.”)


    6-23-16 The marketing power of having someone focus on you when you enter a store

    We just came back from a lovely visit to Victoria, BC. We were only there for a day, but it was long enough to walk around the Downtown area and visit some of the shops. Granted, we were in a heavy tourist area and most of the businesses were going after tourist dollars.

    Still, I was impressed with at least two stores we wandered into where I really had no plan to purchase anything and did buy something. In each case, as soon as I walked into the store, I was greeted with a smile and an offer of help, and I was made to feel that I was the most important person to walk in the store that day. The person greeting me described some of the special products they offered and seemed very sincere in providing information and answering questions.

    I ended up purchasing some tea and some English biscuits (cookies, in case you’re not familiar with the term). And, I had no intention of buying either as I was walking down the street.

    Never forget how important it is to make a potential customer feel important.