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The 4-1-1 on Melody Claassen

The 4-1-1 on Melody Claassen

In each installment of The 4-1-1, we interview a different member of the House Party Team, asking the big questions that are on everyone's minds. This time we're hearing from Melody Claassen. Stephanie Howard, who interviewed her, would describe Mel (as she likes to be called) as creative, joyful and moral. All are adjectives that make her a great Program Manager here at House Party. Mel has an important part in the execution of some of our most popular events. Recently, she has worked on the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Live Viewing Party, King's Hawaiian Starring Roll Viewing Party and TLC's Love, Lust or Run House Party. Stephanie sat down with her to talk a little about work, fun and food.

Stephanie: Tell us what you love about working at House Party?

Mel: I love mostly everything about it! The people are great. We're constantly evolving and growing. All the different brands we work with mean it's something new everyday and that can be a lot of fun. Sometimes we find out about things first, new products or TV shows. And I like Furry Fridays a lot! (House Party has Furry Fridays, where employees can bring their dogs to work.)

S: How do you describe what you do for a living to your friends? To strangers at a party? To your family?

M: At first I tell them that I work for House Party and that it's a real company (laughs). It's marketing and then I go into detail about what I do in terms of handling the Party Packs and the timelines. I have to reinforce that it's a real business, but I always say it's a lot of fun!

S: Do you have a favorite story about House Party?

M: I keep thinking about some of the embarrassing stories...haha. But one of my favorite memories was during a Sales Summit, when the remote Sales team was here visiting and I got to help pull together a photo scavenger hunt for the company to do around Irvington (House Party headquarters). It was something we'd never done before and everyone got really into it. It's a great memory I have about our company all being together and everyone having a really good time. I love our Halloween parties too!

Photo Scavenger hunt fun -
4-1-1

S: I remember when you went sky diving - how terrifying?! What other crazy activities are you looking forward to trying?

M: I don't have anything specific on the horizon, but I'd love to learn to scuba dive one day and get certified. Maybe zorbing too! It's like a big hamster ball for humans.

S: What is something that would surprise people to know about you?

M: When I tell people I have a twin (fraternal), that always surprises them. Even when we were little and told people, they didn't believe us because we looked very different both in size and hair color (like Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger from the movie Twins!), but friends say we look a little more alike now.

sisters young
sisters

S: You've been a practicing vegan for over 4 years now, and thank you by the way for all the wonderful goodies you bring in for us to try! What advice would you give for someone who wanted to make an extreme change to their dietary lifestyle as you have?

M: I would say try not to look at it as an extreme thing. When you think "vegan forever" you automatically might think it's restricting and you could never do it. But if you think about it, many of the foods you already eat are vegan. I started out trying vegetarianism just out of curiosity and trying something new, while reaping the benefits; then it stuck. For me, it was more a matter of taking foods I already liked to eat and making tweaks to replace the dairy and meat.. I love ethnic food and much of those foods are already vegan. I found it was really just the salt and fat that's being craved and once you make swaps for that (i.e. avocado instead of cheese for example), you get more satisfaction. My favorite resources for starting to eat vegan are The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone. This book is a great starting point because she gives you recipes. Another of my favorites is getmealplans.com. The author gives you recipes that aren't intimidating. You can even get shopping lists and plan out for individual or family portions.

S: What are you most passionate about in life?

M: It's hard to pick one thing! I like entertaining and spending time with friends. And along with that, I like to try new foods and recipes and share them with others. I get creative about all the facets in my life. I really enjoy party planning, I guess that makes me a good fit for House Party! I would say all in all I like planning things, whether it be recipes, vacations, or parties. When I was a kid I loved planning my birthday parties (joint parties with my twin sister made them event more memorable)!

S: If you had to change your name, what would you change it to?

M: I like my name, so I don't know if I would voluntarily change it, but if I had to, I've always liked my middle name, April. It makes me think of the character, April O'Neil, from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

S: Are you a morning person or a night person?

M: A night person, for sure. Sometimes I get into the zone when dong the things I love (cooking, crafts, etc), the creative juices flow, and time flies!

S: What always makes you laugh?

M: One of my favorite sites for a quick laugh is Buzzfeed.com. Whenever I can see myself in those situations, I can't help but chuckle!

Got a question for Mel? Ask it here and she'll respond. // <![CDATA[ (function() { var _fbq = window._fbq || (window._fbq = []); if (!_fbq.loaded) { var fbds = document.createElement('script'); fbds.async = true; fbds.src = '//connect.facebook.net/en_US/fbds.js'; var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(fbds, s); _fbq.loaded = true; } })(); window._fbq = window._fbq || []; window._fbq.push(['track', '6022797450674', {'value':'0.00','currency':'USD'}]); // ]]</p></div>

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