Debbie Marinaro has found a new owner to take over The Wild bookstore in downtown Noblesville, so Hamilton County will not lose its only independent bookstore.
“I’m more happy than anything. I look at it as a chapter closing and another opening for me,” she said. “I don’t know what that will be. I owned The Wild, so I can do anything. It’s not something I thought I’d do. It was a big leap of faith. I’m proud of myself for doing that.”
“It will stay The Wild, stay a bookstore,” new owner Peggy Clark said. “It’s been the craziest two weeks ever.”
Clark, a Noblesville resident for 17 years, has taught 2- through 4-year-olds how to swim at Stony Creek Swim Center in Noblesville for the past 10 years.
“I love being around kids,” she said. “I always wanted to start my own business. It really worked out perfectly because I was ready to make a change. I wanted to do something on my own.”
Clark said she has “a million ideas” about possible changes to the business, including in how long and when the store is open. She said she wants the store to have more hands-on opportunities, a book center where kids can hang out while parents shop and possibly add a hot chocolate maker or snack area.
“I also want to be a bigger part of what’s going on in the square,” she said. “It’s in a great location.”
Marinaro, 58, announced in February that The Wild, 884 Logan St., would be sold or have its doors closed on March 27.
“I didn’t know what to expect,” she said. “I was talking to five serious people and finally got to the point that I was talking to people I was comfortable in selling the store to. They had the same vision for it – it was all about the importance of the store in the community and love of children.”
Marinaro said she and her husband, Michael, have become first-time grandparents and need a little more flexibility in their lives than the store would allow.
“I need to be at the store full time or not any more. At this age and stage, it’s time for us to let someone else take the reins,” she said.
Marinaro purchased The Wild four years ago from Jane Mills, who had operated it for four and a half years. Marinaro said her love for children, books and literacy were the main reasons she bought the store.
“I did it for the community. It’s just a vital part of downtown. I’m so happy I didn’t have to lock the door and leave,” she said. “I’m so thankful someone did step forward and take the next leap of faith … it’s going to be in good hands with Peggy. I’m happy to be able to shop in there with my granddaughters.”
The plan is to hopefully keep the store open continuously through the transition as each party hopes to close on the deal next week.