Service above self is often used to describe those going above and beyond the call in the community. A reflection of just that shines through the impact of Betty Boylston’s Smart Solutions storefront in downtown Newnan. Smart Solutions focused its products around helping people stay independent and safe in their own homes, also known as “aging in place.” Originally the store opened in 1990 at 7 LaGrange Street under the direction of Ms. Lin Brown until she passed away in 2017. Before Ms. Lin’s passing, Ms. Betty was given the shop where she continued to devote her time and life to it.
During the beginning of February 2019, Betty was ready to announce retirement and decided to close Smart Solutions. She says, “The last three to four years have been difficult with Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements which have not kept up with our costs, along with the internet’s being a tough competition.” Before working and owning the store, Betty focused much of her earlier life to 20 years of non-profit work. She mentions, “I see my life as chapters of a book, chapter one was the work I did for Girl Scouts and other non-profits, chapter two was Smart Solutions, and now I’m looking forward to chapter three, hiking with my dog, Bandit, working in my veggie garden, and serving with Meals on Wheels.”
With the impending closure, Betty continues her philanthropy through her inventory sale by contributing mobility supplies to the local non-profit Phil’s Friends, which is based in Coweta County and works to improve care for those with memory loss disorders. The organization collects medical supplies and redistributes them in the community. Lori Lawrence, founder of Phil’s Friends says, “Ms. Betty had a number of resources that she was no longer going to need and didn’t want to go to waste from braces to wheelchair tires and wheels. Betty offered assistance to repair things such as wheelchairs. Not only did she give the material, but she was also willing to give of herself.”
Lori continues, “This is a loss for the Newnan community. When you needed an item for someone that you are caring for, obviously you needed it in a timely manner. I appreciated that Ms. Betty always had a well-stocked store. And because she was in the business for so long, once you described the objective you were trying to solve, she was able to help and make recommendations.”
The impact Betty and Smart Solutions made would not have been possible without the vision that Lin Brown had at the initial stage of opening the location. Betty explains, “We met our goal by providing continuously for those that had needs. I’m going to miss them, they always shared their story with us. We knew who they were caring for.”
Now the empty space will become a place for the community to gather over conversation and food. Betty tells us that Karvelas Pizza Co. will soon renovate the building and open their Newnan restaurant location.
The City Menus expresses appreciation for Ms. Betty’s contributions to the community and wishes her a happy retirement.