Taylor Kellstrom was only a child when he began developing the fundamental skills to becoming the successful present-day entrepreneur that he is.At the age of 10 Kellstrom rode his first dirt bike and quickly realized he had a passion and a talent for riding them. By the time he was 17 he became a professional motocross rider. With the aid from his father Dana Kellstrom (a successful business man and real estate developer) Taylor at a young age learned his knack for business. While Taylor was on break from his motocross career he endeavored into another career. At the age of 17 he started designing and producing his own T-shirts, which turned into another business venture for him and thus began his own T-shirt brand line called Heroic Threads.Taylor’s story is not without some heartache. At the age of 19 Taylor suffered a serious injury while racing motocross. He was forced to retire from his motorcross dreams; however relinquishing his position on the circuit only fueled his need to succeed in other endeavors. Turning his focus to the corporate world Taylor began searching for his next big idea/his next passion. “I have always believed that helping your fellow man/woman is spiritually, financially, and mentally beneficial to everyone…period – bottom line!” While Taylor was recuperating from his motocross injury (which ultimately ended his career in motocross) he decided to take a few classes at the local community college COC – College of the Canyons.
While taking his classes Taylor stumbled upon an idea. With his recovery almost complete, retiring from motocross due to his injury, and his future uncertain Taylor’s brain was working on overdrive thinking about his next endeavor. He has always had a passion to give back to his community, and what better way to do so than opening a business that would help and benefit his community.
While taking classes at COC he realized that the cost of buying his textbooks were more than the actually cost of his tuition. Taylor considered this a travesty. The fact that a big corporation would gouge the students so badly; most of these students working full-time to make ends meat, pay for their tuition, their bills, and their textbooks which is more expensive than their tuition. Taylor seeing this had an idea. He approached his father with a business plan to open an off campus bookstore that would offer the students of COC the same books for their classes at a discounted price and he vowed that not one book would be more expensive than the on campus bookstore and that every book would be at least 10-30% cheaper than the on campus bookstore as well. His father decided to believe and invest in Taylor’s idea/business and then Taylor went out and got a few more investors and before you knew it…The SCV Book Exchange was born!
Almost 4 years later the book store is still growing strong, it has a huge following in the Santa ClaritaValley, Taylor and the store have been in countless newspapers in the area praising the store, and even featured on the cover of a magazine. Taylor created a bookstore that the students of COC can be/are proud of. A store that caters completely to the needs of the students and does many things that the on campus book store does not. For example, a Biology book that may cost $150 at the on campus bookstore will only cost $120 at Taylor’s store. The on campus bookstore only allows students to sell their books back at certain times of the year and they buy them back at a fraction of the price and they will only purchase certain books. Taylor’s store The SVC Book Exchange will buy back books all year round at a higher buy back rate than the on campus bookstore and they will buy back any book from any college as long as the book as some value. “I am very proud to own a business that I can make a living from while at the same time provide my community with a valuable service and help the students of COC save money and in some way help them succeed in their dreams”, Taylor said.
Hopeful for the future, Kellstrom says, “I have accomplished a lot in my young life, but there is so much more that I want to do! I want to continue to grow as a person, as a business owner, continue to grow the bookstore business, and I have recently created an events company.” However self-success isn’t what Taylor strives for, the true reward is giving back, confirming that, “I have been so blessed and I want to give back to the community. I want to use my events company as a stepping stool to be able give to charities as well as hosting my own charity events.” At only 23, many may question where Taylor’s passion for philanthropy comes from? It all reverts back to the accident he had as a child, which had him airlifted to the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital. Seeing the hospital staff work so diligently to save his life is what he believes taught him to want give back. It all goes back to Taylor’s belief that helping your fellow man/woman is always beneficial to everyone here today and there tomorrow.
Taylor’s start of his philanthropy work started in Dec. of 2012. Kellstrom along with The SCV Book Exchange threw his first charity even to benefit the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital. The event was held at the Valencia Lanes, which included a night of bowling, a silent auction, a raffle for tons of prizes, and a toy donation bin for the children at the hospital. After such a successful event the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles nominated Taylor for the SCV Man of the Year 2013. The SCV Man of the Year is an event that is held for the residents of the Santa Clarita Valley honoring those select few who have been a great asset to their community. Kellstrom is the youngest in Santa Clarita history to be nominated at the age of 23. “I am so happy and blessed to be nominated with such a great group of men. Win or lose just to be nominated with a group of men who are more established than I am and who have been giving back to this community for a lot longer than I have is such an honor. I hope to learn a lot from great group of men and this great experience,” Taylor said.
After the success of his first charity event Taylor founded TK Events and Promotions. Taylor is also a member of the Junior Chamber Commerce of Santa Clarita as well as a border member for the Circle of Hope Breast cancer organization. Taylor’s events company is dedicated to hosting events of all kinds from charity events to birthday parties. One of Taylor’s passions is working with young people and young entrepreneurs. He looks forward to helping young entrepreneurs and establishing a workshop and speaking engagements to help kids from the ages of 14 to 25 to nurture and grow their dreams. Kellstrom said, “It does not matter how old you are – all you need is a dream, a good work ethic, and a drive – a drive to succeed. The time of kids sitting at home and staring at the TV/playing video games/messing around on the computer all day is over. We are the new generation and the generation before us had it hard and they worked hard to give their kids better opportunities and we have to work even harder to give our future kids/the next generation not only what we had, but even more. We need to show them the way – to show them a path. For the path we show them today will be the path of success for tomorrow!”