Joel Keersten and their 3 boys on vacation.

Chapter 2: The One with Three Boys, a Dog, and a Cat

The business started as Apollo Custom® in January 1992 from their 900-square-foot home which Joel and Keersten shared with their three rambunctious boys, a dog, and a cat. Their only business tools were a fax machine, phone and Rolodex. A local milling company handled all production.

Apollo Custom® received its first order in April from California Stage & Lighting, Inc. for a theme park. They quickly manufactured the gobo using heavy-duty, longer-lasting brass than the industry standard of the day. Joel still has that first rainbow gobo; he didn’t quite understand sizing requirements, and Cal Stage sent it back.

From the beginning, their focus has been to offer outstanding customer service, the highest quality product, and unrivaled turnaround time. Cal Stage remains an Apollo dealer to this day.