Get to Know Downtown: Mutual Friends

Every now and then we will be giving you a chance to get to know our local, Downtown business owners – your friends and neighbors – who make Downtown such a special place. We’d like to introduce you to Josh Castaneda, owner of Mutual Friends, located at 429 Colorado Ave. 

Grand Junction native, Josh Castaneda, is the founder and owner of Mutual Friends in Downtown Grand Junction. At the young age of 24, he is one of the youngest, if not the youngest, shop owners in the district. At 6 years old, Josh had his first experience with a skateboard. Unbeknownst to him, this simple plank of wood with wheels would influence the trajectory of his life to where he is today.

Josh’s early years were much the same as any young man growing up in The Grand Valley, or anywhere in the US for that matter. He played sports, went to school, and over all, grew up living the American dream. He started skateboarding at 6 years old but remarked that he didn’t start to take it seriously until 10 years old and hasn’t looked back since.

During his Highschool years, Josh found himself struggling to keep up with school. Sports weren’t an option with his GPA, so he doubled down on the four wheels beneath his feet and skated on to R5 Highschool where he later graduated. During his tenure at R5, he had an opportunity to take classes at Western Colorado Community College where he discovered Graphic Design. Initially, he took the class for fun, but it later evolved into the foundation for the twenty-plus different designs you can find on the skateboards and T-shirts in his shop.

Shortly after graduating with his Highschool Degree, Josh went on to pursue a college degree. After two and a half years, he decided that college wasn’t working for him and took a voluntary hiatus. Of the many hats he has worn and paths he’s trailed down, shop owner wasn’t obvious until his mom suggested it. It didn’t take too much convincing or encouragement for him to make the jump, especially since it meant that he could be immersed in the culture and lifestyle that he had known so well, every day forth.

Mutual Friends has only been in business for 7 months despite the brand being around for almost 4 years. Leading up to his educational hiatus, Josh was prompted as an assignment to design a brand for a hypothetical business. Having had recently gone through a tough break up, the idea of mutual friends and the ache they bring came to mind for the project. Though the brand initially was found in grief, it later evolved into something much more positive for Josh as well as our community. The skate culture as he described, attracts people from all walks of life and seemingly transcends the boarders, labels, lines and categories that society is so quick to instate. Mutual Friends isn’t just for those who skateboard, it’s meant for everyone. It is a hub for artists, musicians, skaters, businessman, average joes, you, me and us.


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