At Camille’s of Wilmington, we’ve gotten to know many pageant contestants and their family members over the years but none have affected us quite like Sydney Davis and her mother, Patti.
If you saw Sydney Davis on stage at the Miss Clemson University Pageant on January 28,¬†2017, you’d never know by her radiance and grace, exactly how many circumstances she had to overcome to get there.
The team at Camille’s feels very fortunate to be a part of Sydney’s pageant journey where she was able to dance the Cha Cha, receive the “People’s Choice Award,” and get invited on stage to take a bow with the pageant‚Äôs winner, Brooklyn Faye Garrett.
We wanted to tell Sydney’s courageous story and how Camille’s was able to play a part in making a very special night happen for Sydney.
The following is based on an interview with Sydney’s mother, Patti Davis.
Who is Sydney Davis?
Sydney is a twenty-two year Sophomore at ClemsonLIFE (Learning Is For Everyone), a program for students with intellectual disabilities who desire a postsecondary experience on a college campus. Sydney has Down Syndrome but that has not stopped her from following her many goals and dreams.
How long has Sydney been competing in pageants?
Patti Davis: Sydney did not have any history with pageants before the Miss Clemson pageant. However, she did have stage experience from 8 years of ballet lessons and also cheering on a competition team for 12 years.
The Miss Clemson Pageant came to ClemsonLIFE to ask if Sydney would like to compete. This was partly do to the fact that Sydney’s teacher, Ms. Kim, recommended her.¬†Sydney is only the second student with Down Syndrome to ever compete in the pageant. Her former roommate, Katie¬†Meriam, competed the year before.
Sydney called¬†me in late November to tell¬†me she would be competing in the pageant the end of January. It was a huge surprise since neither of us had experience with pageants. But I knew it was something we had to do.
When did¬†Sydney begin preparing for the pageant?
Patti Davis: We began planning right away and decided her talent would be ballroom dancing (the Cha Cha) since she loves to dance and “Dancing with the Stars.” We¬†knew we would need a gown for her dance and started to shop for¬†gown¬†patterns over Thanksgiving.
While at¬†Joanne’s Fabrics shopping for patterns, someone at the fabric¬†store overheard me saying what I was looking for someone to make a pageant costume. This young lady told us her Aunt, Lynn Balderson (who we would later learn is a consultant at Camille’s), makes costumes and may be able to help so I left her with my contact information.
We kept looking for gowns¬†in Raleigh and Charlotte that would not have to be sewn from scratch but we could not find one that really flattered Sydney.
Over Christmas we did end up buying a gown from another store and that ended up being a huge mistake. This is because we knew we were running out of time to find a dress and get it altered. It became apparent as the date grew closer to the pageant that Sydney did not feel comfortable in this dress and I decided about a week before that we had to find her another dress.
Wait, you needed a pageant dress a week before the pageant!?
Patti Davis: That’s right. I knew this may be the only time she may ever do anything like this and I wanted her to look and feel the best she possibly could. I spent hours looking for dresses online and came across Camille’s of Wilmington in my search.
Even though the staff at Camille’s were getting ready for a Fashion Show, they got back to me to see if they could help with my impossible endeavor. That’s when Lynn’s niece saw a¬†news story on Sydney and realized¬†this dress was¬†for the same girl from Joanne’s Fabrics a couple months before. It was meant to be! Needless to say, they still really wanted to help.
How did you get Sydney a dress in time?
We obviously didn’t have time to sew¬†a dress from a pattern, so I gave Camille’s her size and measurements and Lynn sent us pictures of dresses that had just come in stock. Then, the most shocking and amazing thing happened – Lynn got permission from the owners of Camille’s to drive 4 of the dresses to us from Wilmington to Clemson so that Sydney could try them on and choose one.
Sydney knew immediately which dress of the 4 she wanted and Lynn took responsibility for altering it before the pageant would take place just a few days later.
Lynn stayed with me at my hotel in Clemson the week before the pageant and helped with, well, everything. She was truly my right hand those days leading up to the pageant. The day of, she was there to support Sydney and even helped¬†tie her¬†into the gown’s corset back.
Was getting her dress finished last minute the most stressful part about the pageant?
Patti Davis:¬†If only! Unforeseen circumstances forced us to change Sydney’s dance partner the week before the pageant as well. Sydney’s¬†new partner, Elliot, and her put in a ton of practice time the week leading up to the pageant. The two ended up really bonding, so the switch in partners worked out much better as well.
Is there anything you’d like to say to Lynn or the ladies at Camille’s
Patti Davis:¬†Thank you so much! Your generosity of time and effort was truly appreciated. Dress shops don’t do things like this. It was just amazing. They went above and beyond what was ever expected.¬†Everyone at the pageant went crazy over that dress! Even the¬†contestants were raving to Sydney about it.
After the pageant was over, I sent flowers to Camille’s and Lynn as a small token of our gratitude.
What do you think was Sydney’s favorite thing about pageant prep?
Patti Davis:¬† Although she did love her dress, I’d have to say her favorite part was dancing with Elliott.
What was Sydney’s favorite thing that happened at the Clemson pageant?
Patti Davis:¬†Going on stage with the original “People’s Choice” winner, Brooklyn and bowing to the audience. I believe Brooklyn felt like “People’s Choice” really did belong to Sydney and Sydney feels as though she did win that.
Are there any more pageants in Sydney’s future?
Patti Davis:I have no idea if Sydney will do any more pageants. She’s busy. We talked about possibly doing another one and Brooklyn offered to work with her doing her hair and makeup so it could be in here future.
And if she does…I know we will definitely be calling Camille’s!
We enjoyed it so much last year that we’re bringing back our Promposal Contest!
You’re invited to share a photo and story from your own Promposal for a chance to win a FREE PROM DRESS and FREE TUX RENTAL from¬†Camille’s of Wilmington, your Prom 2017 headquarters! Doesn’t that should like the best Prom ever?
Snap a photo from your Promposal and submit it to the contest page with a quick story of¬†how it all went down. Share as much or as little as you like with us! Remember to enter by 1pm EST on March 17th, 2017.
Enter the Contest Here===> http://bit.ly/2mOP3SE
Who is going to judge which Promposal will win?
This is not a contest for the best Promposal. The winner will be chosen at random using our contest software so all Promposals both simple and over the top have an equal chance of winning the grand prize!
You can find some on our Pinterest¬†Board or check out some of the Promposals already in the contest.
Still Shopping for the Perfect Prom Dress?
You can shop some of our inventory online but you’ll need to come in the store to shop our full selection of over 375 gowns!
Save Time and Have the Best Time when you Book a Prom Appointment
Book an appointment and we’ll have a dressing room and Camille’s stylist there to assist you while you shop and try on! We have a huge selection of the top Prom dress designers in the business…Sherri Hill, Rachel Allen, Jovani and more. Just remember to get in early so you can get your dress listed in our Prom Registry – we won’t sell the same style to anyone else at your school!
We hope you have THE BEST PROM EVER ILM!
Having the best prom ever takes preparedness + opportunity… and we’re here to help with both! Here are 8¬†things you should know about prom dress shopping in Wilmington.
1. Camille’s¬†only sells one prom dress style per school
When you buy your prom dress at Camille’s, we add your name, school, gown, and color to our prom registry. This way, you will not run the risk of showing up to the biggest event of the year in the same dress! While¬†we can not guarantee someone will not¬†wear¬†the same gown from another store outside of Wilmington, you’re actually safer shopping local, so you know which dresses are being worn to your school. Since Camille’s is the only prom dress shop in Wilmington that carries top designers, you won’t find a duplicate dress unless they’ve shopped in another¬†city.
2. Rock out Prom 2017 like a celebrity
Look like a celebrity in a dress from Camille‚Äôs.¬† All our very desirable designer have amazing looks that will make you feel like you are walking the red carpet or winning the crown.
3. Shop the latest prom¬†styles right off the runway!
You’ll have a ball shopping our collections from the best of the best prom dress¬†designers such as Sherri Hill, Blush and Rachel Allan. You won’t find these styles anywhere else in Wilmington!
4. Camille’s has sizes from 0 to plus size
We carry a wide ranges of size, and if we don‚Äôt have it on the rack we can check the designers for stock in your size and will have it shipped to our store just for you.
5. We stand by our dresses – this won’t happen if you order from China!
We’ve heard so many horror stories from girls that have ordered online from a store selling knock off versions of dresses from¬†China. Stories like:
- the dress arriving in a different color
- the fabric is different and/or poor quality
- the size is way off or misshapen
- the dress arrives late
- the vendor will not provide a refund
- and the list goes on.
Save yourself a headache. When you come to Camille’s, you know we work directly with prom dress¬†designers. You will be correctly sized on-site and dresses are shipped directly to us. We have your back (even when you’re wearing a backless dress)!
We also have an¬†in-house expert seamstress for any alterations you may need.¬†
6. Nearly 400 prom gowns to choose form!
Our racks are FULL for prom 2017! We have a selection of 375 new gowns! But they will sell fast and are then¬†assigned in the prom registry to the first to buy it so no one else will have it. Getting your prom dress early is¬†the way to go.
7. You can reserve a dressing room and consultant
8. SHOP OUR PROM BLOW OUT SALE – UP TO 75% OFF FEBRUARY 11TH 10am-5PM ONLY
We are having a ONE DAY SALE on our stock of designer proms styles from 2016.¬† Discounts will not be on New Prom 17, which includes Sherri Hill, Jovani and Rachel Allan. ¬†If you buy a dress on sale day, you will receive 20% off jewelry purchase with any discounted or full price dress.
You are cordially invited to the Rebecca Ingram In Store Wedding Dress Event & Free Earring Giveaway at Camille’s of Wilmington to experience MAGGIE SOTTERO’S newest label¬†of gorgeous and affordable dresses for yourself.
January 28th 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.¬†(Call (910) 471-4212 if you have trouble booking online)
January 29th 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.¬†(Call (910) 471-4212nd we will save earrings for you!)
Here’s reasons why brides will want to attend:
1. The first 10 brides to try on one of these gorgeous gowns on Saturday will receive a free pair of earrings from Rebecca Ingram.
2. If you choose and purchase your¬†Rebecca Ingram wedding dress on 1/28/17 or 1/29/17 you’ll¬†will¬†receive a FREE pair of shoes valued up to $100.
3. Scheduling your bridal appointment is super easy and convenient using our online form:
4. Representatives from Rebecca Ingram will be at the store to help brides during their appointments.
5. Rebecca Ingram collection is ideal for brides looking for:
- Timeless and romantic gowns with traditional charming details
- Understated embellishments and ruching
- Flattering silhouettes for brides of all shapes and sizes
- Subtle illusion necklines and backs
6. This label from MAGGIE SOTTERO is very affordable – gowns range from $700 to $1,199.
7. Sizes for many shapes and silhouettes – gowns available in sizes 0‚Äď28
First of all, congratulations on your engagement! We know what an exciting (and often stressful) time this is for you and your loved ones and we want to make sure you are set up for success when it comes to selecting your¬†perfect wedding dress…we’re here to help you say “yes!” to a wedding dress from Camille’s!
Here is what you can expect at your first wedding dress appointment with Camille’s of Wilmington:
Book a wedding dress appointment versus a “walk-in”
We encourage all our brides to book an appointment online (or by calling¬†(910) 471-4212) to be sure that a dressing room and consultant is available to assist you. Wedding dress appointments¬†are 90 minutes but we work with brides that may need more time as long as no one is waiting for the dressing room.
While walk-ins are certainly allowed, we are not able to guarantee a room and consultant will be available¬†– but we do our best in these situations to¬†get you situated as soon as we can.
Camille’s Pro tip: You never want to have more than 3 other people at your appointment¬†and if you have kids, splurge for a sitter if you want to ensure you have a fun and relaxing experience.
Schedule¬†your wedding dress appointment early in the wedding planning process
When it comes to planning for your wedding, never leave anything up to chance or deadlines! Since the wedding dress of your dreams could¬†take up to 5 months to arrive after you say “yes!”, choosing your dress early in the planning process will help you focus on all the other details of your wedding day.
Camille’s Pro tip: Bring champagne or white wine (no red please!) for you and your guests to sip on during your appointment.
Arriving for your wedding dress appointment
Check-in with someone from our shop at the front desk when you arrive and you’ll be introduced to your¬†consultant. (We’re sure you’ll love her!) Sometimes your consultant may be finishing up with another bride, so you’re welcome to browse the racks before you get started.
Share all the juicy details with your consultant
Here is the time to share with your consultant some of the fun details about your wedding day that will help her help you say “yes!”
Details such as:
- photos of dresses you like either printed out or saved on your phone or Pinterest. Even if we don’t have the exact dress, we can find similar options for you
- wedding theme, colors
- wedding location
- your style and functionality preferences
- other details that are important to your wedding dress selection
We find styles that match your details…plus a few out-of-the-box to try
Based on your preferences, our consultants will begin to pull styles from our collections. We’ll start with 4-5¬†different styles and see what’s working. Our consultants have years of¬†experience and education in this area and are primed to give advice (but you can take it or leave it!). We’ll often pull styles¬†that might be out-of-the-box for you to try¬†if we¬†believe they will compliment for your¬†body type.
Time to try on!
Once it’s time to try the first gown on, you’ll have the option of having a consultant in the room (or just outside the room) to help¬†zip or lace up. Since our gowns are a variety of sizes, samples may not fit, so we may need to clip the back so you¬†can see what it will look like after it’s tailored. We’re happy to provide an estimate of the cost of any alterations you’ll need once you’ve said “yes!”
Camille’s Pro Tip: Bring a shoe with a heel with you that¬†you’re¬†comfortable standing or walking in.
Pick your faves and get the cameras and tissues ready!
Camille’s Pro Tip: Leave your spanks and form fitting undergarments at home – we have much better solutions!
Try different accessories that compliment the gown(s)
Accessorizing is so. much. fun.
Choose your favorites if you haven’t decided
If you’re not ready to say “yes!” just yet, we’ll help you narrow down your favorites and we’ll save them in our system for safe keeping. Expect a follow-up call from your consultant in¬†the next¬†week or so, via email or phone call to follow up with you after your appointment. You’re also welcome to book a retry appointment¬†through the website as well.
Camille’s Pro Tip: Even if¬†the gown on the floor is your size, all gowns need some alterations for that perfect fit. About 95% of gowns will also need a hem¬†and bustle.
Ensure¬†perfect fit for the perfect wedding dress
Once you’ve made your decision on the perfect wedding dress, we’ll get measurements to make sure we get the perfect fit.
Camille’s Pro Tip: Gowns run about 2 sizes small, so don‚Äôt be¬†surprised if your wedding dress size¬†does not match your actual size.
There is a¬†50% non-refundable deposit we’ll need to be able to order your dress. Gowns can take 3.5 ‚Äď 5 months to come in (if¬†you have a wedding date sooner, we do whatever we can to get it in sooner).
We celebrate and once you’ve said¬†“Yes!” at Camille’s
Welcome to the family! You’ll receive a special gift from us, and get to take a photo with our sign saying ‚ÄúI said yes at Camille‚Äôs!‚ÄĚ
We would like to share our upcoming Holiday Hours for the rest of the year.
Closed this Sunday 11/27, and all Sunday’s in December (12/4,11,18,25th). ¬†We will re-open on Sunday 0n Jan 8, 2017.
Our Christmas hours are: Closing at 3 on December 23rd (by appointment only for after hours).
Closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
New Years Eve we will be open till 3. ¬†Closed New Years Day.
Any special appointments needed, please contact us at 910-471-4212, ¬†during business hours and we can try to make those accommodations.
We want to wish everyone a very Happy & Safe holiday!
Love the Camille’s Chicks!
If there is one thing all bride’s have in common, it’s their desire for a gorgeous wedding gown. ¬†She dreams of the day she will find that perfect dress that speaks to who she is as far as her style and her wedding vision. ¬†But not all brides have the same budget, which is why we are SUPER excited to announce that we have taken on a new bridal gown line by Maggie Sottero- and her name is Rebecca Ingram.
The Brand is described as “The newest addition to Maggie Sottero Designs, Rebecca Ingram offers timeless elegance and superior quality to the value-conscious bride. The inaugural Olivia collection featuring flattering silhouettes, understated embellishments, and flirty illusion details in an array of charming color ways”.
See some examples below of how this incredible line is able to create these gorgeous gowns at such competitive prices.
Pictured below¬†is “Hope”, followed by “Allison”, two new “girls” we are thrilled to have in store now!
And say hello to “Mariah”, which is also available in store now!
As you can see, we are THRILLED to become an authorized retailer for this new amazing line created by Maggie Sottero. ¬†You are cordially invited to visit Camille’s of Wilmington to meet the Rebecca Ingram “girls” from this new label. ¬†And because we can’t contain our excitement, we will be offering a gorgeous pair of earrings to the first brides who purchase one of these gowns. ¬†Stay tuned for details, as this gift with purchase¬†will be offered to our brides during a special event in January, 2017.
We are so excited, it is our 3rd Anniversary on Market Street!
We want to celebrate by having a Customer Appreciation Sale.
We will have 50% to 90 % off Bridal, Prom, Pageant & Special Occasion Dresses.
Fri Nov 11th 10-6, Sat 11/12 10-4 & Sun 11/13 1-4
Sale will be held at 7134 Market Street. ¬†Lots of newly discounted designer gowns will be added to the sale.¬†
For more info go to our facebook event page,¬†https://www.facebook.com/events/1776483952609609/
It’s a play on words for¬†an amazing sale event!
As everyone know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and it’s a cause that is near and dear to our hearts.¬†Every twenty-one seconds, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer. This month, Camille’s of Wilmington’s “Clear the Rack” sale on October 23rd and 24th is donating a portion of their proceeds to the Pretty in Pink Foundation, helping woman fight breast cancer right here in the Port City.¬† Our sale will feature an assortment of bridal, pageant, military ball and accessories from our favorite brands.
Holiday parties, weddings, even prom will be here before you know it so come by, snag a steal of a dress, and know you helped a woman say¬†“I survived breast cancer”.
For more info click¬†https://www.facebook.com/events/142514052877145/
Due to Hurricane Matthew we will be closed tomorrow, Sat 10/8 and plan to re-open on Sunday 10/9, providing we have power and no flooding. Please call before coming to shop Sunday.
We will be closing today by 3, so we can take time to protect the gowns. If we have your gown here, we will take good care of them!
Be safe Wilmington and everyone that will be affected by this storm.