As a lifelong Newarker, Melvin Sykes knows the city like the back of his hand. But as a real estate agent, Sykes’ knowledge of Newark comprises more than its nooks, crannies and detours. He’s akin to a walking encyclopedia when it comes to the city’s past and present, and that knowledge has given him strong conviction that Newark’s future is a positive one.
As a young man, Sykes sharpened his guerrilla marketing and promotional acumen by helping to promote and run nightclubs and restaurants in the region. As he stood outside the shop, Sykes made a point to stop and wave at every passerby. Familiar faces stopped and conversed with him, and before long, they were lured into the shop to take a look at some of the fashionable wares being offered inside.
As a real estate professional who sells the city itself as much as he does the apartments and commercial spaces within it, Newark’s future is one Sykes looks to help build. At the beginning of September 2018, Sykes created an annually recurring pop-up shop for Newark-based designers Marco Hall and Douglas Says, and a host of other fashion designers.