Something Good: Hattery Lands OKC Woman In The Hall Of Fame

Wednesday, June 2nd 2021, 9:25 pm


For Lavonna "Shorty" Koger, being in the hat business is, well, old hat.

"I had a western store in the ‘60s and I learned to shape hats and I also had a love for hats," said Shorty, the owner of Shorty's Caboy Hattery.

Shorty eventually transitioned from shaping hats to making her own.

"My first hats were horrible, they were ugly, but I just kept on, I said I'm not giving this up," she said.

The business began to take shape and Shorty opened up shop in Stockyards City in 1990, throwing her hat into the very male-dominated ring of custom hat making.

"I'm the only female that started this by myself and built it. I didn't have a husband; I didn't have a man partner or anything."

One hundred-year-old equipment produces the beaver fur hats that put Shorty on the map. Each one takes a week to make.

Shorty is now getting the ultimate tip of the hat in her career. Being inducted in the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame.

"I don't know even how to describe it other than, I'm overwhelmed and grateful," she said.

It's the culmination of a lengthy nomination process that started all the way back in 2003.

But after years of letters and support, Shorty will be a part of the Class of 2021, which also includes country singer Miranda Lambert.

"Her first comment was, 'I don't know if I deserve to be in the Cowgirl Hall of Fame,' and I was like, 'Are you kidding me?'" said Bobbie Gough, who has worked at the hattery since 2003.

Shorty isn't planning on hanging her hat up anytime soon, but this ultimate recognition is a time to reflect on a passion turned career, that wound up being the perfect fit.

"I can't imagine anything any better. It's just been the love of my life. And it's been very good to me."

Shorty will be inducted into the hall of fame on October 26 in Fort Worth, Texas.