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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    2055 Pheasant Farm Lane
    Freeland, WA 98249

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    12-22-19 through 12-29-19* Help the birds have a jolly holiday season

    I just read a great newspaper article by a good friend of mine who is an active local Audubon member and a strong advocate for helping our local bird populations.

    The excellent newspaper article about Linda Bainbridge appears in the Whidbey News Times, for Tuesday, December 20th.

    The article describes what the birds need from us this time of year, and how important it is to be aware of the danger outdoor cats pose to our feathered friends (my cat Dash is an indoor cat who loves looking out the windows at all of the exciting life outside).

    If you are a South end person, there’s a local retailer, Wild Birds Unlimited, that can help you choose the right kind of feeders and food. Check out the article in the Business Spotlight on Whidbey Local.

    *Taking a brief holiday break.  A new blog will appear on 1-5-17


    12-15-16 Ways our family is making holiday shopping easier

    I have three daughters who are married and have other families of which they are a part now. The holidays can be pretty crazy figuring out who gets and gives presents.

    A few years ago we settled on a Secret Santa system. My oldest daughter is in charge (wow, it was so great to hand this over to her). Essentially, using a random system, everyone gets the names of two members of the family. Cost for each present is set at about $15.

    Several family members sent out on-line wish lists for the items they wanted. Here’s what I found interesting:  I was able to buy my Secret Santa presents from local businesses without having to deal with the on-line giants, or without heading over to the mainland to save a couple of bucks (of course, the savings are often off-set when ferry fares and gas are taken into account).

    It was rewarding dealing with local businesses and knowing I was contributing to the local economy. But, as I mentioned in a previous blog, it’s so much more relaxed shopping in local communities at local businesses, where I frequently know the owners and run into other folks I know while shopping.

    If you haven’t completed all of your holiday shopping yet, make it easier on yourself, and stay on the island to finish your shopping. You’ll be much more relaxed, and you’ll do your part to help the local economy.

    Ho ho ho..


    12-8-16 Shopping in the cheerful village of Langley sure beats the malls

    For the last few years the town of Langley has promoted a “Deck the Doors” contest where local artists work with the merchants to create special Christmas displays at the entrance to their stores.

    The result is a cheerful, alive space where people can wander in and out of the different stores and enjoy shopping for holiday gifts.

    A recent visitor during this holiday time commented that the “city feels alive and festive.”

    I’m sure there are those who love the experience of going to a busy, crowded mall to look for bargains for friends and family.

    Give me a quaint, charming experience instead. I want to do my holiday shopping in a relaxed, fun, atmosphere. Thanks to you, Langley for this lovely environment.


    12-1-16 Making a connection with someone who has a different viewpoint than you

    A group of us met last night to talk about where to use our energies going forward with the results of the election. There were a lot of ideas (if anyone is interested, I can email you a summary of what we listed and prioritized).

    One suggestion related to what I’ve written in my Blog previously. If you are sitting down with someone who has a different political view than you, the most important first step is to make eye contact. Actually, making eye contact is the most important first step with anyone with whom you want to have a relationship, whether it’s business or personal.

    Once you have made eye contact, it’s also important to listen to someone who has a different perspective on the world than you have. Even if it seems like you and the other person are far apart, making eye contact and listening may help you realize there are some areas where you do have similar views.

    We are living in a time where people seem very polarized. Maybe these simple ideas -  making eye contact and listening - can help us find a meeting place with someone who thinks differently from us.


    11-17-16 A Good Way to Create a Business: Fill a Niche

    If you have read some of my stories on Whidbey Local where I write a weekly piece as the “Business Spotlight,” you may notice a common theme for several of the businesses: They are creating something new in our business community.

    I have total admiration and respect for anyone who has the courage and creativity to develop a business, especially a retail business.  There have been several examples in the stories I have posted in the last few weeks of businesses that are unique in our community.

    Here are some of these examples: A massage therapist who is using a new therapy (Moon Dickson); a store that is specializing in functional art for the home (Artisan Crafted Home); a store selling everything you could possibly want if you have any interest in bringing wild birds into your yard (Wild Birds Unlimited); a recycling operation that makes it possible to greatly reduce throw away waste (Island Recycling); a store that sells only “Fair Trade” clothing and accessories (Fair Trade Outfitters); and a craft brewery (Double Bluff Brewing).

    It is my hope that these stories will be read and enjoyed, and that these niche businesses will thrive on Whidbey.  If you haven’t checked out the Business Spotlight stories recently, I invite you to take a look.

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