"Hi my name is Jennavave Barbero.
I’m a designer, and I live in Manhattan. I started in New York, with BCBG, and I moved from there to Ellen Tracy. I did do a little stint with Calvin Klein, and now I’m designing for Tiger J. I love being a fashion designer because it is the complete expression, of the gifts that God’s placed inside me. And I want to be a catalyst for creating something that is wholesome something that is really, life giving."
CBN.com "In the beginning of my career in modeling, I kinda started with this idea that, 'Oh it was going to be exciting!' You know, I did think it was glamorous," admits Jennavave Barbero of her former career.
"You see pictures in magazines, and you see girls on runways, and you think, 'Oh this is just so fabulous,' " she remembers. "At the age of 15, I thought it was that. When I started, I was still very naïve and I enjoyed it very much."
Then slowly during that time, Jennavave thought she got a jumpstart because the first thing the fashion industry wanted her to do was lose three inches around the hips. She had a month to do it in.
"It just began with eating disorders right off the bat because they weren’t interested in telling me a healthy way to do it. I wanted it so bad, that I just stopped eating. I worked out liked a mad person, and I just began this process of losing site of who I was and what was important to me ... to get to an end result of being in pictures or having the high of being on a runway."
Essentially, Jennavave felt trapped in the fashion world and after five years, it took a huge toll on her.
"I just saw a lot of extreme. I was still struggling with eating disorders. I had at that point flipped from being somewhat anorexic to being more bulimic. I was very unhealthy physically, emotionally, and mentally," she says.
"I was there alone, and I was constantly bombarded with people trying to take advantage of me. They were thinking that, 'She’s only 19, she’s alone, she wants to make it, so we can get what we want,' " she recalls.
And so Jennavave found herself many times in situations where she was set up to go to places that were not completely professional.
"I mean, it was horrific, and it really destroyed me. And when I came home, I had to deal with my dreams shattered."
So, Jennavave decided to give it one more try in San Francisco.
"I was like 130 pounds, 5 foot 10 inches ... which is a size 3. And you know, I was really skinny. They wouldn’t book me so, I said, 'Okay, I’m done with this, and I had a complete breakdown.' "
That's when she decided to leave San Francisco.
"One day, I looked in the mirror and the fog cleared. I saw what I had become and where I was going. My mom found me on the floor of my closet in a fetus position, just a mess," remembers Jennavave. "And so I just started going to therapists. It began a five year process of mentally healing, letting go of that and saying, 'What do I do next?' "
Jennavave realized modeling wasn’t what she needed and decided to go back to college to study fashion design.
"It just clicked, and I knew that’s really where my focus needed to be. The Lord showed me how He’d always been there for me."
She moved to New York and went to church after being away from God for 10 years.
"After living a life of destruction, I just felt at home. I just felt so much love, and I felt that I belonged. And at that point, is when I really came to Him," says Jennavave.
"I felt so rescued. I felt completely like I had stepped out of a dark, destructive path and into life. It wasn’t anything anyone said. It wasn’t anything anyone tried to talk me into. It was simply my heart condition that just in a moment, changed."
And from that point four years ago, Jennavave's life has radically changed.
"Today I’m so thankful. I just feel like I live in freedom. I feel like I have been given such a chance to do an incredible thing and to really live the dream that He put in me. Now I know He gave it to me, and it’s a treasure. I just want to see it grow, and I want to see it bless other people. So, my life today is remarkable."
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