by Dan England
Back in 2017, as summer was offering one last burner of a weekend, Carli Bisetti Cobaugh stood out in front of her mother’s new boutique business in a red cocktail dress and waved cars down to attract them to the new business.
“We did some crazy things to get people to find us,” said Dani Bisetti.
Back then, Dani found a gray house with a large, long lot off Main Street in Timnath, a neighboring community of Fort Collins, where she spent most of her life with her parents Bob and Anita, the owners of Bisetti’s Italian restaurant. She was on a search for a place to put her dreams when she found the lot on a whim and fell in love with Timnath for what she called its quaint, small-town feel. But her business was in the back of the lot, and so she called on her daughter, now 18, to get people to notice it. She thought her name would help as well: She called her company Backyard Boutiques.
Now getting noticed isn’t a problem, both because of the gorgeous wooden hair salon out front and her dreams for something even bigger in the back. That backyard, what she calls the JJ District, features a long walkway that leads to her rebranded boutique, Grit and Lace, and the beginnings of the Backyard Gypsy. She hopes to open the Gypsy and a stage for music and events by October.
“I’m 53, and what I want to leave is a place for community, connection and contribution,” Dani said. “I have been given all these gifts, and this is my give-back. I’m in a different period in my life. I want to inspire others.”
She does that, in part, by working with her customers to get them outfits they love. When Gypsy opens, she wants it to be for women 30 and under and for Grit and Lace to be for their older sisters, mothers and even grandmothers. She works with all sizes and offers encouraging words, and flattering outfits, for all women, even those who get down on themselves for their size or age.
Her partner, both in business and in life, David Lee, designed the salon and remodeled the buildings. He is president of Eagle Ridge Group. Both said Dani’s love for Timnath wasn’t misplaced in the way the Town treated her.
“They really worked with on remodeling and were suggestive instead of confrontational,” Lee said. “Honestly it was a great example of what cities should do with a small business owner.”
Both admit they haven’t slept much since she began the businesses, but they believe the end result will be worth it.
“When you’re passionate about something, it’s not really a job,” Lee said. “It’s just what you do.”
It already looks far different from the house she bought a couple of years ago.
“But you’ll see a different place in six months from now,” Dani said. “I’m always full of ideas.”