Desiree Melancon has been known to wear a lot of hats. Literally, there was a period of time when her hair was growing out from a buzz-cut, and through the awkward in-between lengths she donned a lot of dome pieces. Really, though, the idiom is just a figure of speech; a verbose way to say that Ms. Melancon has been staying busy.
Last season she put in the hard work of securing the ender spot in Peep Show's hardcore all-girl shred flick 'Winter Wars.' Now she's simultaneously finishing up the final semester of an Associates Degree while learning what it takes to create, launch and run a company. And after she's done getting her new socks and undies company Willow off the ground, she'll embark on the Salomon Team Vacation: a round-the-world team tour-turned-movie project. So much for an off-season.
But, that's what Melancon desires. She's the type that's always got to be doing something. Yes, she admits it can be overwhelming at times, but she has her escapes. As it turns out, the woman is book worm, and proud of it. As she puts it, reading is "the gateway to the universe that exists in your head." Here's a gateway into hers.
ESPN: Hey Desiree what are you up to? Where are you right now?
Desiree Melancon: I am in Bend, Oregon, finishing up my last semester of community college through mammoth online and just hanging.
How'd you end up there in Bend?
Well, I have been working on the company that me and Brynn Hayes are trying to get started, and she lives here, so I moved into her closet under the stairs. Literally.
Awesome. How's that? Did you come out of the closet today?
[Laughs] It's amazing. And yeah, apparently, I come out of the closet every day.
What'd you think of 'Winter Wars'? Were you stoked on how it came together?
It turned out awesome. I'm really proud of June and Este, and I'm proud that I got to be a part of what they did.
Who had your favorite part?
Annie Boulanger for sure. It's all her B footage but its still good. It's the best in the movie. Oh, and I just watched MFR's re-edit of her Rome part on Snowboarder mag's website. Her part was so sick, I wish she was in Peep Show.
And which other girls get you hyped these days?
Jess Kimura, always and forever. And Marie Hucal. They have my heart.
And what about guys? Which dudes do you watch to get inspired to ride?
Geeze... Scott Blum is one of my favorites. Jed Anderson is just crazy. Danimals has the best style. And Ted Borland because he's tall and looks amazing. All of my friends are so sick, I have so many favorites...
Are they making another Peep Show movie? You going to film with them again?
I haven't heard about another Peep Show movie, but I don't want to say if its done or not. My focus is with Salomon this year, though. I am going to film, I'm just not too positive about where my footage is going to go.
Tell me the story behind Willow.
We are trying to get a solid undergarments/first layer brand going. As always, things take time... Our line is almost done getting designed, the wonderful Mike Hakker stepped in for us and is finishing it up. Production is so close and we are excited.
What will be different about your undies and first layers?
Um, well, for one we are going to make actual underwear: boxers, boxers briefs, girls favorites, not many brands are doing that right now. And the goal is to make them affordable, not 20 dollars a pair. The most unique thing I think is going to be the designs. Underwear is usually horrible looking, we figured we can make them look great. WE aren't adding crazy technology or anything [but] we know the difference between a good fit and a bad fit.
How's this undertaking been? I mean, starting a business, plus school and snowboarding -- you've got a lot going on.
It's crazy. Sometimes I think I can't do it all, but you know, you can't think like that. I have always wanted to do something, so I'm doing it. I have so many goals and ideas and doing Willow helps to focus some of those. School is just a wrecking ball. I get my Associates this semester, but it took me seven years to get a two-year degree. Talk about time. Either way, I like what we have going on and we are going to keep doing it until it works. And snowboarding is just a whole different category. I don't like thinking about it all at once.
What's the degree in?
Art and Humanities. I'm going to transfer to get a B.A. in Fine Arts with probably a minor in English or History. Then I'm off to getting the Masters. So I think I have about another 10 years of school.
Cool, why the arts?
It's the only thing I truly like. Art and reading: two of the best things in the world.
They're both on my list. What are you reading right now?
Oh man, I just finished 'Their Eyes Were Watching God' by Zora Neale Hurston. It's seriously amazing. It was written in seven weeks in 1937 and its incredible. I've also been working on 'A Dance with Dragons' by George RR Martin, but it's hard to find the time to read fantasy while I'm in school. It makes me too distracted.
It seems like everyone I've ever met that reads fantasy is obsessed with the it. Do you think that's the case?
I'm not obsessed. I just like reading, and fantasy books give you the best feelings. I read a lot of other stuff, but fantasy is by far my favorite.
Yep, it's the gateway to the universe that exists in your head.
That's a cool way to put it. So, will you be Bend all winter?
No, Bend just for a little while. I'm going on the Salomon Team Vacation. I'm pretty hyped for that.
Tell us about the Team Vacation. What do you guys have planned?
I am not really sure. I know we have an RV there's going to be a movie about it, and we're going around the world. That's about it. I wish I knew more. That's a pretty rough idea, though.
A pretty awesome rough idea.
[Laughs] Tell me about it.