Being Her Genuine Self
September 2019 Issue
by Cynthia Robinson
Photography by Mike Force Photography
Charity Tyson is a woman on the move. Over the last 13 years not only has the divorced mother of three worked her way up the ranks at Lowe’s Home Improvement to the position of department supervisor, she accomplished this all while earning a college degree and overseeing her own business, It’s OK to by You, LLC, which includes writing self-help books. In addition she is close to earning her second degree, as well.
Growing up in small-town Americus, Georgia, Charity knew she wanted to get out into the world to expand her horizons. “Being raised as the oldest of three girls by a single mother, I knew I needed to step out on my own and experience the world and meet people from all different backgrounds.” After high school, she did just that by joining the Army National Guard where her upbringing came in handy.
“I grew up cooking a lot at home and so, I was a cook in the National Guard,” said Charity, who has passed her interests on to her children. “The National Guard was a great experience. I learned so much from the people I met and served with.”
Her life took a different turn, however, when shortly before her scheduled deployment to Afghanistan she was injured in a car wreck. “I was riding with my stepmother when a lady ran into her (stepmother’s) side of the car and turned the car over. They (National Guard) didn’t want me to deploy since I was injured.” Instead, she served with a support detachment in Albany, Ga.
She began working at Lowe’s in Albany, eventually moving to the Golden Isles, joining the staff at the Brunswick location. “We moved here after I left the National Guard in 2014 because the ratings of the schools here and their focus on students were better than in Americus. My kids are at C.B. Greer Elementary and Needwood Middle. We are really happy with the schools.”
In 2016 after earning her first degree, she founded her business, which was born from her own experience. “In a past relationship I dealt with people who wanted to turn me into someone else. There was no abuse involved, but I just couldn’t be my true self, so I moved on.”
“I have decision-making classes, books and products,” she said. “And I’ve met a lot of women who feel like they can’t do better, whether they are in a relationship or not. So, I reach out to women to help them remember it is OK to be themselves. I want to do what I can to help.”
While she has been writing self-help books, Charity is now brainstorming on a book of poetry. “Poetry is something I’ve always loved and been writing off and on since high school,” she said, citing Maya Angelou, Robert Frost and Emily Dickinson as influences. Then, there’s her upcoming second degree, “I hope to work in a medical facility with children or the elderly.”
In the meantime she has plenty to keep her busy, but said her children come first. “I’m taking on-line classes,” she smiled, which allows her to get her schoolwork done after-work, or when her children are in school, so together, they can spend their time at home as family. “I don’t want to put too much on my plate so I can focus on what’s important. My kids love being outside playing basketball. I want them not to grow up too fast and enjoy their childhoods.”
Charity keeps her kids close. One favorite family activity is their weekly pizza and game night. “We have pizza night on Fridays. Now, sometimes they say, ‘we don’t want pizza, we’d rather have tacos,’” she added, laughing. “So, we have our pizza, or tacos, and play games like Uno and Monopoly.” She also said the four of them enjoy frequent visits to her mother’s home in Plains. “The kids love visiting the country.”
Charity said she hopes she can pass on what she has learned not only to her children, but also to the women she reaches out to through her books and business. “And some of the best advice I’ve gotten was from my children’s other grandmother,” she smiled. “I used to be so uptight. She’d tell me ‘you’ve got to learn to relax and chill.’ And I have. I just try to focus on the positives. You can control your own environment and how you interact with other people.”
Education: Americus-Sumter High School; associates degree from The University of Phoenix; will graduate in 2020 from the same university with bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration.
Children: Jaylen, 13; Kadence, 8; and Isiah, 7.
All-Time Favorite Movie: Gone with The Wind. “It’s been my favorite since ninth grade when they made us watch it at school,” she laughed. Why her favorite? “Scarlett was so obsessed with being in love, she forgot to live.”
Fav Reads: In addition to the Bible, she enjoys reading mysteries. “A good mystery or crime book really gets your brain going!”
Easy Listening: Loves listening to jazz. “As long as it’s smooth sailing, I’m good,” she laughed. Also enjoys listening to gospel music.
Famous Encounter: Met former President Jimmy Carter once at a restaurant in Plains.