You all know how I love featuring women in all professions who inspire the best in us. Sexy, Smart, and Strong Women.
Well, I’ve recently discovered J-na Garcia, owner of J-na Couture. J-na suffered a devastating injury as a child. Her life story could have been tragic, but she chose a smarter path. Her strength and positive nature was apparent even as a six year-old.
J-na combines two passions in her successful career—her passion for fashion and her passion for empowering women to recognize their uniqueness and inner beauty.
As a haute couture designer, I travel the world and meet dozens of women,
many who have shared very intimate pieces of their lives with me. I am struck at how
connected many of us are in overcoming major obstacles and trauma in our quest for our
These trials, if we do not let them crush us, can sharpen our intense appreciation for life
and freedom, and give us such passion and drive, that life takes on a completely different
hue, a strong, new intoxicating fragrance, and even a deeper spiritual meaning!”
I’d love for all of you to learn more about J-na.
MR: You had a horrific accident as a child that caused extreme pain and a long recovery. Can you tell our readers a little about your accident and recovery?
JG: When I was 6 years old, I climbed up on the stove to get the Alpha Bits cereal out of the upper cupboard for my little sisters and me. The pilot light caught my nightgown and I went up in flames! Panicking, I ran upstairs to my parents room, burning my body all the way. On the way to the emergency room, I noticed black ashes all over my legs, and I said, “Daddy, am I going to die?” ……….
I am thankful that 6 year old children can develop “selective amnesia” and block or numb very painful things. What I remember in that state of shock, when I went up in flames, is running upstairs to find my mother. I completely forgot to “Stop, Drop, and Roll”, so the damage was greater than it might have been. I remember seeing black ashes all over my legs and tummy and asking my Dad if I was going to die. Almost 6 months in the hospital and 13 surgeries was a horribly scary thing for me. It took another year for those deep burns to heal.
MR: How did you manage to survive that experience with a positive outlook rather than wallowing in self-pity?
JG: As the eldest of 6 children, I had developed a responsible “Big Sister” attitude and I am naturally a curious and hyper-active person with a constant flow of new ideas and goals. I still have a hard time sitting still! That has helped me leap from a passive, “I am a victim” attitude, which is so boring, to a “What can we do now that is fun?” mind-set. For that I feel very blessed!
MR:Could you describe your business and how it grew?
J-na Haute Couture Beach Cover-Up
JG: I started out experimenting with new designs and techniques while I raised my kids, always hungry for original and breath-taking couture. I like dramatic clothes, and we travel constantly, so my Diva designs had to be comfortable! Gradually my friends and
business clients would ask me for variations on my creations they admired. This helped me gain confidence!
When my designer son Cal got involved, things really picked up! He has been an invaluable leader and business partner, always nudging me forward. He is an adrenaline-junkie too, but his patience and persistence and youthful influence have paved the way for our business. I follow, symbolically “kicking and screaming”. He was instrumental in our website’s creation and getting our couture in high-end boutiques abroad, even in a Prada boutique!
MR: How do you help other women overcome their trials in life?
JG: I have had the great honor of working as a community service support provider for decades. This volunteer work has been the greatest teacher for me, leading to astounding new understanding of what women and children have survived. These brave souls have
taught me so much. Their strength and resilience is truly inspiring.
MR: What’s your best advice for women striving for a goal, a dream?
JG: Write it down and post it in 3 places where you will see your goal constantly! Embed it deep within your sub-conscious. And if you LOVE this dream, protect it from all negative people and feedback.
Find mentors and cheerleaders. Ask and seek until you get a clear path of practical steps to follow. Be patient and work from your heart…if you love this dream, it will not feel like work. Never give up even if you are delayed. Persist!
MR: How do you define success?
JG: Finding your true inner soul,the fire that nourishes you, the spiritual answers you crave, and gentle loving people who prove loyal and kind, and with whom you wish to grow old.
MR: What is one fun thing we might not guess about you?
JG: I am completely crazy about dancing! It feeds my soul, but I am so addicted that I need to learn to pace myself. I once danced to Latin music for 4 hours straight without sitting down once! Wow, Did my knees pay for that!
Thank you J-na for setting the example that anyone can strive to achieve their highest goals when they push aside the negative forces that try to derail your efforts.
Jena Garcia began sewing at 9 years of age and developed a hunger for Vogue Designer patterns…always “embellishing” them her own way, she started out as a little haute couture designer. It has been a driving and burning passion of hers to create the most beautiful clothes ever, with a part of her trying to compensate for the shame of being disfigured. Jena thought, “If people notice my pretty outfit, then they won’t mind the scars on my legs.”
This drive to survive and thrive fueled this creative madness that led her to break all the rules and leap full throttle into the art of couture design after having spent years in company with the greats in couture fashion accessory designers. After 20 years of conceptual development, Jena is unleashing couture concepts that fit her criteria of what haute couture should be:
- Custom Fitted
- Exclusive one-of-a-kind
- High-end materials
- Extravagant yet WEARABLE
- Reflect the true self and personality of the individual.
- Within the reach of more than just the super-wealthy!
Jena has enjoyed 42 years of active community volunteer work, teaching, speaking publicly, and traveling in the glamorous adventures of a seasoned haute couture designer. Giving back is one of the greatest joys of Jena’s life, along with raising 3 amazing kids with Josh, her husband of 33 years.
How have you overcome tragic circumstances? Do you have any questions for J-na?
Don’t forget to stop over at the Life List Club Blog today! My partner in crime, Jess Witkins, is posting today!