Elena Castaneda – COO
Elena Castaneda is a graduate of the prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City with a degree in fashion buying and merchandising. Her success began early; four years out of the institute she opened Castaneda’s, a high-end women’s clothing store on Third Avenue and 75th Street in Manhattan.
The 6,000 square foot store, which thrived for nine years, was extremely popular among society women and young professionals, all of whom found the owner’s advice invaluable. During this time, she worked with designers and manufacturers to help them pinpoint and provide direction for their collections. In addition, she worked regularly as a multi-media fashion stylist, producing fashion shows, commercials and print ads.
Motivated by her entrepreneurial abilities, Elena sold Castaneda’s and pursued her next venture. She became a student of nutrition and fitness and opened the extremely popular Madison Avenue’s Better Baker, a mecca of health conscious desserts that developed a cult-like following. Clientele included countless celebrities such as Meg Ryan, Sharon Stone, Meryl Streep, Matthew Broderick, Warren Beatty and Barbara Streisand. Because of Elena’s inventive recipes and personal charisma, she was chosen to be a national spokesperson for Sunsweet. Better Baker was a great success and was eventually sold to a large food dealer.
With the bakery sold, Elena was inevitably drawn back to the world of fashion. Once again, she wanted to make her vast knowledge of fashion, fitness and style available to the masses. Keenly observing that there was a niche to be filled, Elena opened New York Image Consultant, Co. as a resource for those seeking individual help with their personal image and style.
After the immediate success of NYIC, Elena became a highly in-demand authority on fashion and image consulting. Her precise expertise has made her one of the most consistently sought after image training experts in the business. She also brought on colleague Amanda Sanders who would eventually take over her clientele so Elena could move on to her next stop on her career path.
In 2002 Elena decided to venture into the E-commerce arena before it had become the go-to outlet for new retail businesses. With her years of experience in overstock buying and an affinity for great jewelry, Elena opened OverstockJeweler.com, a discount fashion jewelry website that specialized in high-quality sterling silver and cz fashion pieces.
After the immediate success of Overstock Jeweler, Elena wanted to implement more fashion in her jewelry styles. In 2008 she opened sister site Bling Jewelry where she started to carry more of a range of styles including children’s jewelry, men’s jewelry and costume jewelry. Today the company has grown to over 40 employees and counting. The sites affordable pricing mixed with variety of products both classic and fashionable has launched its success and put it on track to keep growing. Elena now works full time on Bling Jewelry located in midtown Manhattan.