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Lost Boys Club Barbers – Joshua Downes

Lost Boys Club Barbers

Here we share the inspiring story of Joshua, from Lost Boys Club barbers. A successful entrepreneur who has shown remarkable resilience and determination in the face of challenges. From a young age, Joshua wanted to be a role model and prove himself to his friends and family. Despite difficulties in his early years, including hiding his self-harming at age eleven and later being diagnosed with a mood disorder, Joshua remained determined to overcome these obstacles. The relief from being given a diagnosis felt like a weight being lifted from his shoulders. Joshua was now able to concentrate on his future.

A pivotal moment in Joshua’s journey was his first job in hairdressing. Discovering a passion and talent for cutting hair meant Joshua began to grow in confidence and began challenging negative perceptions about mental health. 

Joshua founded Lost Boys Club barbers in 2018, a modern and inclusive barbershop that caters to people of all ages and backgrounds. Through his work and various media campaigns, Joshua has become a well-known advocate for mental health and his business has now been featured in various media outlets.

In early 2022, Joshua faced a setback when his business premises was flooded by neighbouring blocked external drains. Despite repairing the damage, the issue of neighbouring businesses’ blocked drains continued, and he was forced to shut the shop. Undeterred, Joshua showed his resilience by starting again, securing new premises on Mill Street in Pontypridd. However, he now faced funding challenges. He had used up his reserves on repairs to the old shop and was being turned down by other funders. This is where Purple Shoots stepped in, providing financial support so that Joshua could purchase the necessary equipment and refurbish the new premises. 

As Joshua opens a new Lost Boys Club barbers shop, he hopes to continue serving his existing customer base and attract new ones. As well as preserving his previous relaxed and welcoming atmosphere, he plans to provide employment opportunities for other barbers.

Joshua said…

Finding Purple Shoots was amazing. A Finance Organisation that values people, their ideas, their talents and aspirations. Receiving rejection after rejection from Lenders is heart breaking and was not dissimilar to the impact of going through all those years when my mental health went undiagnosed – it can crush your confidence. And then came along Purple Shoots who listened to me, my history and idea to restart at the Pontypridd shop. Purple Shoots didn’t prejudge me but understood the challenges I had gone through in 2022 and saw my potential.

 Purple Shoots were able to separate, not ignore, my credit rating and looked in a constructive and positive way at how a small loan could help me re-establish in the Pontypridd shop. In turn this could help me employ other staff too which in a small way slowly builds the local community for the better. I had no idea Purple Shoots existed and can only say that their help has been invaluable to me financially in helping to launch the new shop. This will also help me support my customers more than just cutting their hair, by helping support the other ‘young Joshuas’, in having a safe place to open up in and discuss their own mental health issues. Thank you Purple Shoots.    


Duport give 10% of all company profits to the Purple Shoots, helping start-ups and ongoing businesses with financial assistance.


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