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!

RSS Feed
Subscribe by Email
This form does not yet contain any fields.

    p:| 360.222.6820
    c:| 425.351.7531

    f:| 360.222.6820

    2055 Pheasant Farm Lane
    Freeland, WA 98249

    Make Good Use of Your Sidebar

    Use this space for anything from simple blocks of text to powerful widgets, like our Twitter and Flickr widgets. Learn more.

    To access Website Management, hit the 'esc' key or use this Login link.




    4-12-18 What it takes to become a successful business on Whidbey

    Actually, I think it takes the same elements in most places to have a successful business: Passion, courage and filling a niche.

    After writing many stories for the past several years as the Business Spotlight on Whidbey Local, I have seen common patterns.  I’ve noticed, it’s not just a matter of having a business, these people feel strongly about what they are doing.  Most really want to make a difference and believe strongly in the value of what they are selling.

    It also takes a lot of courage because there is a major investment of time, energy and money.  I have enormous respect for people who own a business.

    It also is important that the business person has created something that has been missing from the community by filling a niche. Whether it is a type of business has not been available before, or having something different about what is being sold, I always ask a business person, “What is special or unique about what you are selling?”


    4-9-18 A Great Local Business Story: Comfort's of Whidbey

    Every week I do a story about a local business here on Whidbey.  It is a source of great pleasure for me to tell so many stories about the energy and creativity involved in developing a business.  I also believe it takes a lot of courage.

    I wanted to point to the latest story on the Business Spotlight of Whidbey Local: Comfort's of Whidbey:It's not just a place to buy wine.

    Like so many of the stories I have told, this one describes a vision held by the business owners, Rita and Carl Comfort, and all of that they have put into this business to make it a success and a great community asset.

    I hope you will read the story and share it with friends on the island, as well as people you know who are planning a visit to Whidbey.


    3-30-18 I enjoy sharing Whidbey business stories

    A few years ago I got into writing stories about Whidbey businesses.  My professional background was as a marketing research and public involvement consultant.  Then I moved to Whidbey and was asked to write a couple of stories about marketing research for a local business magazine (Northwest Business Monthly, which no longer exists).  I don’t even remember now what first created my connection with the magazine. Then, I was asked to write stories about local businesses for that publication.  

    Somehow, the publisher of Whidbey Local, JoAnna Weeks, learned about my writing, and she asked me to do business stories for her on-line publication.  She encouraged me to write what I wanted, in my own style.  She has now branded me as the “Business Spotlight.”  Each week, she trusts me to choose a business, tell their story, and it is published without any editing (my husband is my “official” editor).

    I feel very privileged because I am having the delight of making my own choices and telling stories in my own way.

    I believe that what makes a business story appealing is knowing about the person or people who started the business.  I ask three basic questions: Why did they come to live on Whidbey? Why did they decide to create their business? What is special or unique about the product and/or services they provide?

    For me, a business story is really about the people behind the business.  If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact me:

    And, I invite you to check out a new story each week on The Business Spotlight on Whidbey Local:



    3-22-18 Do emails and texting provide good sources for accurate communication?

    I’ve talked about this subject in earlier emails, but I am starting to have real concerns about whether the generations coming after me, and after my children, are going to lose basic communication skills.

    • Have you received an email with several misspellings or grammatical errors?
    • Have you had numerous text exchanges with someone and finally gave up and made a phone call to resolve something?
    • Have you received a group email that got sent around several times to several people, including you?
    • Do you find yourself sometimes struggling to get through a long email, only to reach the end and realize you’re still not sure what it was all about?
    • Have you sent an email or a text assuming the other person would understand your words and your tone, only to get a response back that didn’t really relate to your intentions?

    I’m sure you can come up with several other items to put on this list. In our high speed communication age, we rapidly email and text and tweet several times a day (our new President believes in this). But are we really communicating?  There are some disagreements about how much human communication is non-verbal, but I think that we all can agree that lacking voice intonation, facial expression, body language and simply feeling another person’s energy, words alone will not necessarily convey thoughts accurately.

    Here are a few suggestions to avoid misunderstandings when emailing or texting:

    • Keep it short and simple
    • If at all possible, save your sincere, serious communications for in-person or by phone
    • Read every email over before you press “Send”
    • If you are sending out a longer email or something with important information, make sure you have someone else read it before you send it
    • If you are feeling angry or frustrated with someone, DO NOT send them an email or text and let them know this; cool down first, and then make a phone call
    • If you are sending an email to a group of people, use the bcc, even if everyone knows each other; it will seem more personal and it will be impossible for someone else to press the “Reply all” and send out swirling emails that can drive us crazy.

     Better yet, whenever possible, call or meet with the person to whom you are sending an email.


    3-15-18 How do you get attention on Facebook? With a cat....

    I am mystified by Facebook.  I admit to not always knowing or understanding what draws attention, especially when you’re trying to figure out what you can show in social media that will result in responses.

    I often see that what my daughter made for dinner draws 20 or 30 “likes,” yet when I post incredibly cute pictures of my grandchildren or something else I find especially interesting, maybe I’ll get 10 or 15 “likes” (although some of my grandkid and daughter photos have occasionally gotten more).

    A couple of years ago we got a cat from the WAIF Cat Cottage in Freeland. My children and grandchildren still get a few likes when I post their photos, but it is really the pictures of Dash our cat that garner attention. The latest photo just shows him sitting elegantly on the piano bench...and the picture definitely won my "like" contest for the week.

    If you’re a young person and into our Facebook and other social media, you can probably post just about anything to receive a lot of responses.

    If you’re in my generation, I guess if you want to have more responses to your Facebook posts, just add a cat or two.