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Meet Kaylene Basulto of KO Events in South LA

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kaylene Basulto.

Kaylene, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I was a high school dropout who spent most of my teenage years in juvenile halls and placement homes. When I turned 20 years old I had an awakening and decided that I will not be another statistic. I started going to college at 21 and earned my B.A in Psychology. After I applied for a master’s program. I felt extremely discriminated against because I was the only brown skinned person in the interview room and I was pregnant. My heart was broken when I was denied entry to the program and I decided that sometimes things just aren’t meant to be. I started working as an ABA therapist for children. After many babysitters quit on me I decided to work from home.

I attended a wedding where I had my first experience with a photo booth. The booth was having some technical issues and wasn’t operational. That’s when I thought to myself, “I could do this.” I researched different equipment for a few weeks. Being on a budget there was no way I could afford a turn-key booth (ready to go). So I ordered everything from scratch and wired it all together. My husband, who is always extremely supportive, made the photo booth’s exterior shell from scratch. I began advertising on every free platform available to me (Facebook/Instagram). Our clientele began to grow and we had to purchase more booths to keep up with the demand. We now have 4 setups with professionally made outer shells and top notch equipment. I also added event decor, tablecloth rentals and much more to our services. We continue to grow daily and I could not be more grateful for all of our loyal clients.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Growing up in LA I faced many obstacles. Raised by a single mother who worked two jobs to keep food on the table and a father who was always in jail. From living in foster homes and placements I eventually fell into the trap of my surroundings. When I was 19 I was accused of a crime I had no involvement in. After being in jail for a year I proved my innocence to the jury and was given my freedom back. It was this experience that has pushed me to push forward with all of my strength and energy to make a better life for my family. I refuse to let them take the path I did and am extreme thankful to be able to have changed my chain of thought.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about KO Events – what should we know?
We are an event services company that works with different budgets because I know what it’s like to be on a budget. Any event big or small we can bring your vision to reality. We specialize in photo booth rental and decor. I am most proud of the memories we are able to provide our customers with. Weddings, quinceaneras, sweet 16s and birthdays are all huge days to remember. With our photo booth rental we provide a digital link and a memory book with prints at no extra cost to our customers. They will always be able to go back and remember their special days.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My husband Octavio Basulto deserves lots of credit in my business’ success. He has been supportive from day one and always helps me build things that I’m not able to. If something is too heavy to transport he takes care of it and always with a smile. We are not just husband and wife but friends and business partners. Without him I wouldn’t be able to execute all of my crazy ideas. Love you Poppa

One of my photo booth attendants who also deserves credit is Liz Paz. We have known each other for over 10 years from our days in Compton. She is the most responsible, reliable and friendly worker anybody could wish for. Always ready for anything and is a huge help. All of our clients love Liz and I’m extremely grateful for her being on my team.

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