WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The shops of three dressmakers will be packed all weekend as over 130 Azalea Belle’s get fitted for their antebellum dresses.
Though she was never an Azalea Belle herself Kay Counts Godwin and her family have been apart of the Azalea Festival for decades. Kays' mother designed dresses for the festival and in 1992, she passed the torch to her daughter.
"It's a passion,” said Kay Counts Godwin. “I want to make the best better. I want a splendid job not a mediocre job. I want it to really look good for the Azalea Festival."
While girls across the country dream of growing up to be princesses and queens, girls in Wilmington dream of blooming into something else.
"I've been going to the azalea garden tours for about three years with my parents and I always saw the Azalea Belle's and thought that they were really pretty and I always wanted to wear a dress and look as nice as they did,” said Emily McKinney, an Azalea Belle.
For all of the beauty of the Azalea Belle’s dressmakers say there is a little known secret behind each and every dress.
"A lot of my dresses are remakes from someone who gave me a dress and I will refurbish it and make it into a belle dress,” said Kay Counts Godwin. “Some of them have been made out of curtains, like one girl got Dorothy's ruffle original today and she is wearing that dress made out of curtains."