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.




    4-4-17 Borrowing some marketing wisdom from the Langley Chamber of Commerce

    If you have a storefront business, this is an important suggestion (thank you Langley Chamber):

    Open Door Policy

    If you have a storefront, there is one simple thing you can do as Spring takes hold and the weather warms up to increase foot traffic and provide potential for new sales: OPEN YOUR DOORS!

    There is nothing quite as welcoming as an open front door to spur someone walking by to turn in, browse around, and maybe even buy something

    "Having an open door in front of you means having an opportunity before you."


    3-30-17 On Whidbey, hugging is part of good marketing

    I was in the Bay Area of California for a few days. And, every few weeks I go to Bellevue to visit with kids and grandkids. Each time I travel off the island I have to watch myself: hugging family and close friends is OK, but may not be the norm in many places I visit.

    A typical day on Whidbey usually includes numerous hugs. And, not just with people I know well. Usually, I meet someone I know in the grocery store (whichever one I visit), when I walk around Freeland or Langley, or simply taking a walk. I am always surprised at how often I meet someone who gives me a hug, wherever I go on the island.

    The reason I mention hugs in a marketing blog is that when I visit the merchants on South Whidbey, I know many of them, and a visit to their stores usually includes hugs. I am sure other small towns create this same experience, but, it’s not the norm in most big cities and suburbs.

    Anyway, part of what makes Whidbey such a sweet, lovely place to shop for me (and I would guess for most of us) is to walk into a store and not only get greeted warmly, but to have the business owner walk out and give me a welcoming hug.

    This type of shopping experience is one of the major reasons I would rather shop on the island, even if prices are not as low as the big box stores. It’s such a great feeling to be truly appreciated as a potential customer…..or maybe just as a neighbor.


    3-23-17 I am a storyteller, and I enjoy telling stories about local businesses

    I am a storyteller 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 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.






    3-16-17 Another story about a niche being filled: Chris’ Bakery, the only full service bakery in Oak Harbor

    I am going to sound repetitious, but I just published another story on Whidbey Local about a business that is filling a void.

    Chris’ Bakery was opened by the Christensen family  50 years ago in Oak Harbor. The bakery was closed in 1998, when the second generation of Christensens moved back east to be with other family members.

    In 2015 they decided to return to Whidbey Island, and in 2016 found an appropriate place to use for a new Chris’ Bakery.

    Now, with the help of their daughter (and her 16-year old daughter in the summer), Patrick and Maribeth Christensen have just opened the only made-from-scratch bakery in town.

    In addition to filling a niche, this is also a story of a family that has a history in the town returning and re-establishing a business still known to many.

    The Business Spotlight story of Chris’ Bakery can be found at Whidbey Local


    3-9-17 Ruby’s Closet in Freeland is filling a much needed niche: Baby and young child clothing in South Whidbey

    One of the likely ways of having a successful business is to do something that isn’t being done by anyone else.  The marketing term for this is “filling a niche.”

    I love the creativity and awareness that lead to someone having the courage to not just open a retail business, but to do something that hasn’t been done before.

    Ruby’s Closet is the dream-come-true for Kari Daumen. After she had a child and discovered that shopping for her new baby on Whidbey Island, especially in Freeland, where she lives, was just about impossible, she began exploring options for creating her own business.  With a little help from a friend, she was able to begin renting a place in downtown Freeland that has turned out to be just right.

    The story of Kari Daumen and Ruby’s Closet is featured in the Business Spotlight of Whidbey Local .