In the small sleepy town of Union City there is a dynamo of fashion and hilarity if you know the right place to look.  

Joann’s Gowns is a rare jewel in the fashion industry with its wide array of pageant prom and formal dresses. Customers are served by a first-class staff, with members full of quick wit and a quotient of Southern charm. These employees help many young ladies to compete in their dreams at some of the most popular and well-known beauty pageant and events.  

Second generation owner Paige Burcham Carlton makes sure to keep the customers and the workers happy with a “say it as it is” stance and taste that is sure to please everyone. The business has become more prominent in the last year. Joann’s earned opportunity to have a reality show named Glamour Belles on the Lifetime Network. They have taped the first season, airing on Saturdays, and are currently are in talks for another season. 

The staff of Joann’s had "a wonderful time" taping and showing off their finest outfits to the rest of the nation. While the show was being taped, Carlton was interested in how the film crews from New York and other major cities would adapt to Southern life. This cultural exchange seems to have benefited everyone who worked on the show and the viewers as well. 

For Carlton, this venture is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream.

“I was once told that no matter what you do, find something you like to do and that is your job. I get to dress Barbie up each day; every day brings unique situations and keeps it interesting just like lingerie," she says.

Carlton is happy to be able to call Union City home, and if she's in Hong Kong or Europe at the end of each trip she returns to the house she grew up in.  She feels that part of her work ethics is drawn upon by the region where she lives. Stressing quality and good taste for each of her patrons, she makes sure that each bag that leaves her shop has a dress that matches the person who bought it.

The reason for this is simple, she believes that one bad review would mar her work and therefore it is important that each is given the detail needed to be a stylish and pleasing dress for her clientele as well herself.

Having such high standards of quality is reflected in her clientele, from Gwyneth Paltrow’s dress in the movie Country Strong to the young ladies that participate in the Miss USA pageant, as well the teen versions of that institution. 

This is reflected in the personnel that is employed by Joann’s Gowns; the staff of Joann’s are diverse and open as much as their atmosphere, with a welcoming attitude towards all people who wish to visit.

“We dress everything from the prom queen to the drag queen and everything in between,” Carlton says.

For more information about Joann’s Gowns and to see a preview of the show, visit, or check your local listings for Glamour Belles.


Photo courtesy of Red Bull

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