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Gymboree Founder Joan Barnes Shares Her Journey from Young Mom to Mogul

Joan Barnes is the trailblazing businesswoman who built Gymboree into a billion-dollar global brand, but in this candid interview with “Extra,” the mother of two reveals she paid a steep price for her success.

Barnes suffered from a stress-induced eating disorder. She told us, “When things were going well, the eating disorder receded, but when things got really stressful and the pressure grew, it became front and forward.”

Her inspiring journey from young mom to mogul is chronicled in her new book “Play It Forward,” co-authored with former lawyer and acclaimed author Michael Coffino.

Joan reveals how she beat her eating disorder through long-term treatment, learned to balance her personal life and career, and returned to hit another business home run when she sold her yoga studios to Yogaworks.

“Being able to decide what really has value and has meaning for us and let the other things go in our life… that to me is the art of life,” she said.

“Play It Forward” is in bookstores now. Buy it here.

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