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Saturday, January 16, 2021

With hope in her eyes, Cheryl Calhoun hangs a bright red sale sign in the front window of her store.

After 20 years in business, Wild Iris Books, 802 W. University Ave., will move and downsize its inventory with a 20 percent-off sale. Calhoun co-owns the store with Erica Merrell.

“I’ve been here for 8 years. It’s sad to see this space go,” Calhoun said. “I think we’re moving forward, though, in a community that represents not only feminism, but the integration of that in today’s culture.”

The store will remain in its current location until Dec. 22, and the sale will go on until the store’s move, Merrell said.

“We want to honor the space and legacy here,” Merrell said. “We want to be here through the holidays for the customers, keep our sale going and hopefully end with a celebration.”

Calhoun said she and Merrell have been looking for new locations and have a verbal agreement with the owner of a smaller storefront.

Wild Iris Books will not announce its new location until it establishes a written agreement.

The sale covers all merchandise, excluding consignment items and e-readers.

There is also a garage sale table, where prices range from a quarter to $3, Merrell said. The merchandise on the table will be updated whenever there is an empty space.

In addition to the sale, the owners have reached out to the community to get its opinion about what it would like to see in the new store, Calhoun said.

“With our customers’ help, we can re-imagine what a feminist bookstore in 2012 should look like,” she said.

Calhoun said big plans are in the works for the new store.

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“We’ve come a long way in the last 20 years,” she said, “but we still have a long way to go.”

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