Brittany Stevens has published “Smyrna Spotlights – Journey Through Local Smyrna” to shine a bright light on 46 locally owned businesses in the Rutherford County town.
The stories of the businesses, what they sell and how they started are told in the voices of the owners of the businesses. They respond to a detailed interview template from Stevens.
Stevens, an attorney who is currently the Smyrna Court Clerk, said she was aware how local businesses were suffering during the pandemic.
The idea to do something to help local businesses was moved forward by the entrepreneurial spirit of the business owners themselves, many of them her friends.
One day, while Stevens was holding court at a Bella Vista lunch with her good friend Marty Luffman, she told Luffman that she frequently saw a bush-bearded, focused young man at a nearby table. Luffman called out to the bearded man: “Hey there! The young lady would like to know who you are and what you do.”
The bearded man responded. “I’m Zach Bohannon, and I write books.”
Bohannon is a published author with more than 30 titles under his belt (fiction and non-fiction) and mentors others in the writing profession.
“I’d tell her, you need to read these three books, and by next meeting she had read the three books and had a long list of questions on the topics. She’s actually someone who will put the work in, so I can pay it forward,” Bohannon said.
Bohannon said he thought Stevens’ book idea was a good one, and that it would help the local businesses.
“She really wanted these individual business voices to be represented,” he said. “I think it was a really good choice to make.”
The book launch party for “Smyrna Spotlights” was held at Smyrna Depot. All of the owners of the businesses in the book were invited.
“This was her project. I just provided some guideposts through the editing and publishing process,” Bohannon said. “Brittany is truly passionate about the community of Smyrna. She grew up here. It means so much to her. I can’t think of anybody else who would be in a better position to write this book.”