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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    3-10-16 Greenbank Farm Merchants, six businesses at a unique Whidbey destination

    Collaboration is one of my major themes. When businesses can collaborate in any way, it helps build each business.

    I just wrote a story for Whidbey Local about the new Executive Director for the Port of Coupeville, which manages the Greenbank Farm. Forrest Rambo now has his office at the Farm and he has reassured all of the merchants there that he fully supports maintaining the feeling and identity of the farm.

    Greenbank Farm is definitely one of the major destinations on Whidbey for locals and for visitors. You can walk up to a ridge that is one of the few places on Whidbey where you can look to the mountains in the west and in the east just by turning your head. Before, or after, your walk (and people love to take their dogs on this walk), you can have a delicious meal or a piece of some of the best pie you’ll ever eat at the Whidbey Pies Café.

    In addition to satisfying your taste buds at the café, you can sample some wines next door at the Greenbank Wine Shop, and just a few steps away, taste some cheeses at Greenbank Cheese and Specialty Foods and Gifts.

    Then stroll through the Galleries at Greenbank to stimulate your visual senses: Rob Schouten Gallery, Artworks Gallery and Raven Rocks Gallery.

    Some people may visit the Greenbank Farm just to take a walk or have a meal at the café, or buy a special bottle of wine, or look for an original artwork to have or gift. But, it’s pretty difficult to go to the farm and just visit one place. It’s a lot more fun to take it all in.



    3-3-16 Telling a good business story

    I am a story teller at heart. 

    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, 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:

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



    2-25-16 Emails and texts can create lots of misunderstandings

    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….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.

    I have a bit of a silly streak in me (those who know me might say it is more than a bit).  I learned a long time ago never to use my silliness in an email unless I was absolutely sure that the person knew me well enough to understand the communication (and I’m not sure it’s wise to send anyone a silly email).  Of course, I can add an imogi, but……

    So, 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.

    I know I sound very old-fashioned, but I like to reserve serious communication for when I’m talking directly to someone.


    2-18-16 What demands attention? 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).

    There has been a recent exception to my past experiences.  A little over a week ago, Rich and I got a three-year old kitty from the WAIF Cat Cottage in Freeland….and I posted a photo.  I had nearly 40 “likes” and an amazing number of comments.

    I guess if you want to have more responses to your Facebook posts, just add a cat or two.


    2-11-12 Marketing is important, even if you’re selling used cats

    Rich and I have been in the market for a new cat or two since we lost both of our fur buddies in the last couple of years and are cat-less.

    We visited WAIF’s Cat Cottage in Freeland. As we walked around checking out the residents, a lovely lady named Judy, who works there, began talking to us about Dash: “He is the sweetest cat, and we don’t know why someone hasn’t taken him yet.”  She proceeded to tell us all of the special traits of this cat. We didn’t make up our minds, but we were definitely leaning toward giving Dash a home. He had been at the cottage for a year. His biggest problem is that he doesn’t like other cats, but loves humans, both adults and children, and he loves to play with toys.

    We were there checking out all of the cats for about half an hour. As we were getting ready to leave – without a cat – Judy commented, “I have a feeling that you are the perfect match for this cat.” 

    We drove up to the WAIF shelter in Coupeville, and when we walked in to look at their cats, and mentioned we had talked with Judy at the Cat Cottage, someone commented, “Oh Judy told us all about you. She thinks that Dash is the right cat for you.”

    A week later we returned to the Cat Cottage, and Judy and Dash were there….waiting for us. Judy kept talking about how she was sure we would be back because we were just the perfect people for Dash. We finally succumbed, and Dash is our cat now.

    After we confirmed our plans, Judy apologized and admitted that she did sound a bit like a used car sales person.

    So, whatever you’re selling, make sure your potential customers know how important they are and what a good fit they are for your product or service.