The past couple of years have not been good for many in the retail business, but there are some that have managed to thrive.
At a time when many businesses are facing difficult times, Jamel Newsome and his brand are at the top of their game.
“Mastermind is bigger than a store; Mastermind is a way of life, a way of life of fashion, a way of life of life, ”said Newsome, owner of Mastermind. “This is why we are focusing on the brands that Syracuse, New York is not going to get, so our competition is pretty much non-existent.”
Across the country, many malls are losing stores. Mastermind expands to a second Destiny USA location across the Midway.
“Customers go to the mall to find rare stuff, cool stuff,” Newsome said. “If your store doesn’t deliver nice things, you don’t get business. It’s a simple fact.
When it comes to Mastermind’s street fashion, Newsome says you need a few things: customer feedback, affordability, and exclusivity.
“We have a brand that comes from Paris – shipped from Paris,” he said, browsing the mall’s inventory. “We have more of Japan and a brand called Gifted LA, which is a luxury brand in LA, and another brand that will never be in New York, Syracuse, New York.”
Beyond neon lights and original clothing displays that drive sales, there is a mission.
“Now, Mastermind’s calling is to get back to the streets of Syracuse and help others,” Newsome said.
And that’s how it all began, the first Mastermind factory outlet on Salina Street where the dream began in 2013 and turned into brick and mortar five years later with purpose.
“Things like clothes, DJing, everything to bring Syracuse to life. We’re late, ”Newsome said. “We don’t want to look on Instagram and see what they’re doing in other states; we want other states to look at Instagram, see what [we are] Make.”
Part of the focus, especially in the location of the mall, is to promote the house brand.
“We want to bring out the Mastermind clothes, but I know that to be just a businessman, a lot of people just don’t want Mastermind clothes,” Newsome said.
But the original store now serves much more than the brand; it will soon include other local brands, giving the opportunity to black and brown residents – and more importantly, from the streets of Salt City to the world.
“I’m going to show Syracuse: watch it, watch it, and let yourself see that there are a lot of creative people here,” Newsome said. “Just like the way Syracuse can do things to build buildings. There are local people who can manage these buildings and be more successful than a person who actually builds them. “
Mastermind is opening Mastermind Kidz in front of his Destiny USA location. All three locations will continue to focus on exclusive clothing lines and support hyper-local startups.