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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    3-23-17 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 .



    3-2-17 Your first job as a retail business owner is to make a person feel welcome coming into your store

    Recently, my husband and I stopped off at a takeout restaurant on our way back to Whidbey.  We had been to the place before.  The restaurant was busy, and we stood in line behind two people waiting for service.

    We waited for our turn....and none of the staff looked up from what they were doing; no one made eye contact or said “Hello” or “We’ll be with you in just a minute.”  We waited.  Finally, Rich said, “Let’s go somewhere else.”  And, we did.

    I can imagine the young staff had had a long day, or some cranky customers, or were just anxious to be done with their work day and head home.  

    But, as the customer, my only concern was being waited on, or at least having someone greet me and say they would be helping me soon.  I wanted to feel welcome.


    Anyone who is meeting the public in a business must always be aware of the power of that first moment when a potential customer walks through the door.  More than anything else, a customer must be noticed and made to feel welcomed.


    2-23-17 Here comes Langley Mystery Weekend - A great event for tourists and locals

    This weekend is the 33rd annual Langley Mystery Weekend when hundreds (or is it thousands) of folks descend on the town to look for clues, meet the potential villains and see if they can solve the murder mystery.  It costs $10 to participate, but, of course, anyone can simply wander around town and look at all of the characters, and of course say hello to the friendly people who live in Langley.

    No one really mentions that this is also a great way for the local businesses to have lots of visitors stop in, see what is available, and...maybe purchase something.




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