Joseph Chen & Heather Wang - Affordable Class

Joseph Chen and Heather Wang always knew they’d open a boutique someday, they just didn’t know the where or the when until AuModa opened its doors in the Campus Gateway.

During their college days at the Ohio State University, the two started selling a local clothing brand to customers overseas and while they made a decent profit, what they wanted was a brand and a name of their own. That was the birth of AuModa.

“We wanted a name that was unique and also had an upscale, European sound to it,” says Chen. “Alphabetically, we’re at the top of the list. It does have a definition: it’s a mix of French and Italian, meaning fashion and style.”

While their primary audience would seem to be the local OSU student, AuModa attracts clients from Grandview, the Short North and even from other universities like Miami of Ohio and Ohio University. Chen credits it to the uniqueness of the store and brands they carry, such as BCBG, French Connection and Kenneth Cole.

“We decided to carry certain brands because we saw a lack of brand name designers on campus. If you want something to wear, you want quality,” he says. “If you want something of less quality, you might want to go somewhere else.”

Both are heavily involved in every aspect of the company, but Chen focuses mostly on the “business” side of things, while Wang works hard on the operating and marketing side. She’s also the one you might spot in the store on any given afternoon, not only helping customers, but also getting their thoughts on the current collections and what they’d like to see next.

“I am constantly working on how inventory flows in and out and what collections we carry in the store,” she says. “I also focus a lot on our customers and our employee feedback. What our employees think is also important because they have a creativity of their own and know the trends.”

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