Until two years ago, Dallas’ Chinese residents didn’t have a local lifestyle resource to call their own. There were newspapers written in Chinese, but no magazine covering culture, fashion, food, entertainment. Then Maggie Wu filled the void with The Asian Magazine.
Wu, 32, grew up in a small town in China’s Fujian province and graduated from Xiamen University. She met her future husband in China, where they got engaged before moving to Enid, Oklahoma, to work for a family business. They were married in Oklahoma, moved to Miami for a few years, and then returned to Enid. But they needed to live in a travel-friendly city for her husband’s fuel company, and they had relatives in Dallas.
Wu recognized the need for something like The Asian Magazine as soon as she arrived, in 2011.
“When I first moved here, the only place I could find something written in Chinese was in the Chinese newspaper,” she says. “I could only rely on an English platform to find out where I can go eat and play. A lot of people here are like me; sometimes for us, it’s hard to get into the community. I wanted to minimize the gap in between, so I started writing in Chinese.”
Wu started a blog, whose translated name is Dallas Foodie, and it took off. Although she didn’t major in journalism or writing in college, she knew that the community—and advertisers—liked what she was creating. In 2014, she took a calculated risk and moved into print. The Asian Magazine covers food and drink, travel, lifestyle, fashion, and entertainment. Ninety percent of the writing is in Chinese, but Wu hopes to add more English in the future. The magazine is based in Plano, but it has recently skewed national, with writers and distribution in Los Angeles and New York. Next, she has her sights set on Seattle and Chicago.
Though Wu considers herself more a businesswoman than trendsetter, her job has thrust her into the fashion world, working with brands for stories and attending events. She admits to shopping a lot.
“I have very classic things, mixed with very current style,” Wu says. “They call me ‘normcore’ because I tend to wear black, white, and gray. But I do like to have something pop out, like a color, maybe jewelry, especially if I’m wearing all black.”
Wu predicts that stripes and ruffles will be in vogue in the coming months, along with a nod to styles from the ’70s. “It’s fun for the summer,” she says.
That works in any language.