Inspirational Outfitters Give Back to the Community
Hattie Witherby is a need-to-know name in Edmond’s entrepreneurial scene. The 21-year-old with special needs has continued to defy both medical and social restraints to graduate high school and embark on her new role as “Chief Inspirational Officer” of Hattie’s Tees.
Those who learn about Hattie’s journey will likely find ‘inspirational’ to be an understatement. When a series of strokes in utero affected her mobility and development, some medical experts saw only limitations. Her parents, Scott and Jennifer, remained unwavering advocates, offering the optimism and opportunities Hattie needed to succeed.
While the Witherbys felt immense support from the Edmond School District, the reality remained: vocational options are limited for students with special needs. Scott and Jennifer knew full-time care and facilities were not the best option for their family. Drawing from Hattie’s favorite hobby – decorating t-shirts – her mother announced: “We’re going to open a t-shirt company.”
Hattie’s father, Scott, was on-board and took the risky first step of leaving a 25-year career in wine and spirit distribution to step into his new role as owner and operator of Hattie’s Tees. For Scott and Jennifer, the venture represents a more engaged, interactive life for their daughter. For Hattie, the sense of accomplishment from owning her own business is apparent.
“When she wears our company shirt, she is always showing it off,” Scott said. “It keeps her challenged and engaged and gives her an essential sense of purpose.”
A look around their shop shows Hattie’s Tees can do it all, and do it well. Using top-tier machinery, Scott and Hattie have already produced custom shirts, koozies, bags and more for a range of clients including Saturn Grill, Birdies Chicken, sports teams, and individuals seeking custom creations.
“I’ve known Hattie since she was ten,” said Kevin Lee, owner of Birdie’s Chicken, “It’s been so amazing to watch her take the next step in her life and create something new with her dad. Plus, the shirts they’ve created for me were flawless.”
In addition to providing quality products for clients, Hattie’s Tees bridges an important gap within the community, providing other special needs students with the opportunity to engage and invest in their community.
“We are excited about partnering with Edmond Public Schools to provide kids with a vocational learning experience,” Jennifer said. “The community doesn’t offer a lot for students of certain abilities, so we will do whatever we can to help support the school system and special needs families like they’ve supported us.”
While starting a new business is always a risk, the Witherbys remain focused on the bigger picture – giving back.
“No one is going to invest in special needs children more than parents of special needs children,” Scott said. “They need to know they have something to look forward to, and we are fortunate to offer an option.”
Learn more about this father-daughter duo by following @HattiesTees on Facebook and Instagram, stop by their shop at 1704 S. Kelly Avenue in Edmond, or get in touch by calling (405) 906-4274. No matter the order, Hattie’s Tees will always be ‘Printed with Joy’. The website www.Hattiestees.com is currently under construction.