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Joan Barnes

Entreprenuer & Author of "Play it Forward"

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Joan Barnes Biography

40 years ago, Joan launched Gymboree, initially called Kindergym, at a Jewish community center in San Rafael to allow moms and dads to assemble while their toddlers played. The humble play program rapidly led to numerous decisional forks in the road, each bringing its share of benefits and risks.

Should Joan accept an offer to finance a commercial Kindergym? If that succeeded, should she buyout the initial investor and expand the business on her own? What about the possibility of a franchise-based expansion to allow women to operate a business while raising a family? After establishing a local franchise presence, would the market have room for a national Gymboree franchise program and how would the necessary venture capital finance such a rollout change her life? What would happen if the franchise program succeeded at the franchisee level, but not at the corporate level? Would a move into the retail market be good for the company but render Joan and some of her colleagues obsolete?

All these things happened, as Gymboree flourished, eventually went public and became an iconic billion dollar international brand. As the successes and stresses of this process ebbed and flowed, however, so too did an eating disorder that steadily wore Joan down. By 1990, she had to depart from Gymboree and enter into a long-term treatment center, spending the next few years on a successful healing journey.

Returning home after 3 years away, Joan took her first yoga class in Mill Valley and was overcome, barely holding back tears, as she and the class practiced the ancient sun salutations. She was transformed, and before long, she was not only a devoted practitioner, she also bought the business, called YogaStudio. As her vision for the yogic environment broadened, Joan began to tap into a community that ranged from advanced yogis to novices, all walks of life and ages and grew the business to three locations.

Eventually, however, she realized that her own yoga practice began to suffer because of the intense focus of being in the yoga business. Drawing deeply on the lessons from the Gymboree experience, and having learned to listen in to her inner voices about what reflected who she is, Joan not only declined chances to expand further but she sold YogaStudio to Yoga Works.

Her understanding of entrepreneurialism and life balance issues and a humble path to personal growth and character development, combined with her naturalness and likability, have made her a sought-after speaker at myriad conferences and events.

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FAQs
  • How do I book Joan Barnes to speak at my event?

    Our experienced booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure speakers like Joan Barnes for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment since 2002. Click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page to check availability for Joan Barnes, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get speaking fee information and check availability for Joan Barnes or any other speaker of your choice.
  • What are the speaker fees for Joan Barnes

    Speaking fees for Joan Barnes, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. The estimated fees to book Joan Barnes are under $10,000 for live events and available upon request for virtual events. For the most current speaking fee to hire Joan Barnes, click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak directly with an experienced booking agent.
  • What topics does Joan Barnes speak about?

  • Where does Joan Barnes travel from?

    Joan Barnes generally travels from Mill Valley, CA, USA, but can be booked for private corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances across the country.
  • Who is Joan Barnes’s agent?

    AAE Speakers Bureau has successfully booked keynote speakers like Joan Barnes for clients worldwide since 2002. As a full-service speaker booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Please click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page including the details of your event, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Joan Barnes for your next private or corporate function.
  • What is a full-service speaker booking agency?

    AAE Speakers Bureau is a full-service speaker booking agency, meaning we can completely manage the speaker’s or celebrity’s engagement with your organization from the time of booking your speaker through the event’s completion. We provide all of the services you need to host Joan Barnes or any other speaker of your choice, including offer negotiation, contractual assistance, accounting and billing, and event speaker travel and logistics services. When you book a speaker with us, we manage the process of hosting a speaker for you as an extension of your team. Our goal is to give our clients peace of mind and a best-in-class service experience when booking a speaker with us.
  • Why is AAE Speakers Bureau different from other booking agencies?

    If you’re looking for the best, unbiased speaker recommendations, paired with a top-notch customer service experience, you’re in the right place. At AAE Speakers Bureau, we exclusively represent the interests of our clients - professional organizations, companies, universities, and associations. We intentionally do not represent the speakers we feature or book. That is so we can present our clients with the broadest and best performing set of speaker options in the market today, and we can make these recommendations without any obligation to promote a specific speaker over another. This is why when our agents suggest a speaker for your event, you can be assured that they are of the highest quality with a history of proven success with our other clients.
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This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.

All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

If you are the talent and wish to request a profile update or removal from our online directory, please submit a profile request form.

Entreprenuer & Author of "Play it Forward"

Travels From:
Mill Valley, CA, USA
Speaking Fee:

Joan Barnes Biography

40 years ago, Joan launched Gymboree, initially called Kindergym, at a Jewish community center in San Rafael to allow moms and dads to assemble while their toddlers played. The humble play program rapidly led to numerous decisional forks in the road, each bringing its share of benefits and risks.

Should Joan accept an offer to finance a commercial Kindergym? If that succeeded, should she buyout the initial investor and expand the business on her own? What about the possibility of a franchise-based expansion to allow women to operate a business while raising a family? After establishing a local franchise presence, would the market have room for a national Gymboree franchise program and how would the necessary venture capital finance such a rollout change her life? What would happen if the franchise program succeeded at the franchisee level, but not at the corporate level? Would a move into the retail market be good for the company but render Joan and some of her colleagues obsolete?

All these things happened, as Gymboree flourished, eventually went public and became an iconic billion dollar international brand. As the successes and stresses of this process ebbed and flowed, however, so too did an eating disorder that steadily wore Joan down. By 1990, she had to depart from Gymboree and enter into a long-term treatment center, spending the next few years on a successful healing journey.

Returning home after 3 years away, Joan took her first yoga class in Mill Valley and was overcome, barely holding back tears, as she and the class practiced the ancient sun salutations. She was transformed, and before long, she was not only a devoted practitioner, she also bought the business, called YogaStudio. As her vision for the yogic environment broadened, Joan began to tap into a community that ranged from advanced yogis to novices, all walks of life and ages and grew the business to three locations.

Eventually, however, she realized that her own yoga practice began to suffer because of the intense focus of being in the yoga business. Drawing deeply on the lessons from the Gymboree experience, and having learned to listen in to her inner voices about what reflected who she is, Joan not only declined chances to expand further but she sold YogaStudio to Yoga Works.

Her understanding of entrepreneurialism and life balance issues and a humble path to personal growth and character development, combined with her naturalness and likability, have made her a sought-after speaker at myriad conferences and events.

Joan Barnes Videos

  • The Joan Barnes Interview: Anxiety, Bulimia & Recovery While CEO
    Joan Barnes founded Gymboree in 1976 with only $3,000, and as CEO grew it into one of the most recognizable brands for mothers and children. While...
  • Spiritpreneur School with Gymboree Founder, Joan Barnes - YouTube
    As an untried and young woman, building an unconventional service business without any real estate, operating out of rented Church and ...

FAQs on booking Joan Barnes

  • How do I book Joan Barnes to speak at my event?

    Our experienced booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure speakers like Joan Barnes for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment since 2002. Click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page to check availability for Joan Barnes, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get speaking fee information and check availability for Joan Barnes or any other speaker of your choice.
  • What are the speaker fees for Joan Barnes

    Speaking fees for Joan Barnes, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. The estimated fees to book Joan Barnes are under $10,000 for live events and available upon request for virtual events. For the most current speaking fee to hire Joan Barnes, click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak directly with an experienced booking agent.
  • What topics does Joan Barnes speak about?

  • Where does Joan Barnes travel from?

    Joan Barnes generally travels from Mill Valley, CA, USA, but can be booked for private corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances across the country.
  • Who is Joan Barnes’s agent?

    AAE Speakers Bureau has successfully booked keynote speakers like Joan Barnes for clients worldwide since 2002. As a full-service speaker booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Please click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page including the details of your event, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Joan Barnes for your next private or corporate function.
  • What is a full-service speaker booking agency?

    AAE Speakers Bureau is a full-service speaker booking agency, meaning we can completely manage the speaker’s or celebrity’s engagement with your organization from the time of booking your speaker through the event’s completion. We provide all of the services you need to host Joan Barnes or any other speaker of your choice, including offer negotiation, contractual assistance, accounting and billing, and event speaker travel and logistics services. When you book a speaker with us, we manage the process of hosting a speaker for you as an extension of your team. Our goal is to give our clients peace of mind and a best-in-class service experience when booking a speaker with us.
  • Why is AAE Speakers Bureau different from other booking agencies?

    If you’re looking for the best, unbiased speaker recommendations, paired with a top-notch customer service experience, you’re in the right place. At AAE Speakers Bureau, we exclusively represent the interests of our clients - professional organizations, companies, universities, and associations. We intentionally do not represent the speakers we feature or book. That is so we can present our clients with the broadest and best performing set of speaker options in the market today, and we can make these recommendations without any obligation to promote a specific speaker over another. This is why when our agents suggest a speaker for your event, you can be assured that they are of the highest quality with a history of proven success with our other clients.

Joan Barnes is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Joan Barnes for your event is $5,000 - $10,000. Joan Barnes generally travels from Mill Valley, CA, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Sharon Gai, Gillian Muessig, Dr. Jackie Freiberg, Carly Fiorina and Maddy Dychtwald. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Joan Barnes for an upcoming live or virtual event.

Joan Barnes Speaker Videos

  • The Joan Barnes Interview: Anxiety, Bulimia & Recovery While CEO
    Joan Barnes founded Gymboree in 1976 with only $3,000, and as CEO grew it into one of the most recognizable brands for mothers and children. While many knew Joan as an ambitious, creative...
    Spiritpreneur School with Gymboree Founder, Joan Barnes - YouTube
    As an untried and young woman, building an unconventional service business without any real estate, operating out of rented Church and ...

Tell us about your event!

During normal business hours, we respond to most inquiries within 4 hours.

  • Customized Service

    Our agents find the right fit for your event

  • Unparalleled Database

    Full access to all speakers & celebrities

  • One Stop Shopping

    A reliable and unbiased point of contact

  • Logistics Management

    Your personal Logistics Manager who takes care of all event details

Speakers Similar to Joan Barnes

This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.

All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

If you are the talent and wish to request a profile update or removal from our online directory, please submit a profile request form.

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