Tell us a little bit about yourself.. where are you from originally and how long have you lived in town?

Hi!!! My name is Meghann (Snow) Hennen. I was born and raised in Beachwood, Ohio. When I graduated from Myers Schiller Myers School of Art at The University of Akron in 2006 with my Bachelors in Fine Arts in Painting and Drawing, I moved right to New York City to my first apartment in the West Village. I then attended my first Masters of Fine Arts from Parsons the New School of Design in Painting and Performance Art. Upon graduation in 2008 I lived in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Astoria. Then in 2014 I brought my then boyfriend, now husband, to Cleveland for Passover. He fell in love with Cleveland and instantly wanted to move here. However, I still had one more year of my Masters Program in Early Childhood and Special Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. In 2015 I graduated and he proposed, and we decided to move to Cleveland to put down roots.  We have been back in Cleveland for 5 years. He works at Trader Joe’s and I am a preschool teacher at the Mandel JCC, a ballet teacher at Cleveland City Dance, and a represented artist at HEDGE Gallery. 

One thing people would be surprised to know about you…

I never baked challah in my adult life until the pandemic! 

and…

In 2009 I interviewed for a reality TV show called Work of Art (Season 1) that ran on Bravo! The casting company said they couldn’t cast me as a character. 

What are some of your favorite things about NE Ohio?

Some of my favorite things about NE Ohio is the Cleveland Metroparks and the great places to go kayaking. Another favorite thing I love about Cleveland is the cultural aspect, the arts, theatre, diversity, food, and the mid-western charm! 

Please tell us about Challah at Meg! Why did you start it and how did you know this is what you wanted to do?  

@Challah_at_Meg was born when I decided after making challah since March that it was time to take the next step forward. I never saw myself starting a business, this is definitely out of my comfort zone. Then it hit me, what if I took what I love which is taking pictures of my food and sharing it, and connecting with people and try to sell my challah to them at the same time? So I did just that. I took a great picture of my challah, and then started selling them for $5.00 a loaf. Over time, I raised my prices for the different flavor and delicious fillings. And here we are 8 months strong. What makes my challahs different from others is their size. They are larger than normal!  

 

How has the pandemic affected your business or personal life in any way?

My business is the result of the pandemic and making challah has been therapeutic to helping me while me and my husband navigate through infertility, and the lack of getting pregnant. We have been trying to conceive for a year. So far I have had 2 failed IUIs and I have been on clomid for about a year. When the pandemic hit in March, I was supposed to have my first IUI but fertility offices closed down, and I was asked to put our baby journey on hold. 

While I have been making challah, I have been learning about the meaning of challah and how it started. Challah is something that women used to make and being the nurturer, it makes sense to why I am drawn to this tradition. When we make challah, we use attention, ingredients, waiting, intention and attention. “Challah dough is a living organism.” (Rochie Pinson.) I have learned that making challah has been an amazing time to reflect on myself and what I am experiencing. It’s like we are put in these sticky situations and challah can be sticky, yet we problem solve our way out to try and make the perfect challah. Sometimes I don’t make the perfect challah but I accept that it’s good enough. I am so hard on myself lately because I feel like not being able to conceive is my fault. Over the past year, I have met some amazing women who are also trying to be moms. And these are amazing women! Everyone who is trying to conceive and having difficulties feel alone, and for once, I don’t feel alone. Each time I make challah, I learn something new and it offers new ways of seeing things, even though they are the same thing we make each week. 

I have been making challah now to sell but for also me and my husband. It’s now a new tradition I hope to share with our child one day.  

 

What’s one thing you wish more people knew?

You are not a unicorn (even though it feels like it, you are not) when you are having fertility struggles. Feel brave and confident to share your story. Sharing is caring and it helps connect yourself with others who are going through a similar situation. 

How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now? 

I left Cleveland in 2006 and moved to NYC to attend graduate school. I needed time and space to really reinvent myself. And I did just that! I can’t believe it’s been 5 years since I returned to Cleveland bigger, better, and stronger. I found myself and my voice living in New York City for 10 years. The community has been more kind and more helpful since returning. I have proven my capabilities in my passions, and am able to do that. Since starting to make challah 6 months ago, the spread of my deliciousness has been wonderfully unexpected. I am warmed by all the positivity I am hearing about it. It’s also a wonderful feeling to be able to provide this to the community when we are social distancing. Having a piece of me in your home is another way to stay connected. Food helps nourish our bodies and our mind. I am grateful for all that has happened in the 6 months of making challah! 

What’s your proudest accomplishment?

Marrying the love of my life! (And having him eat my challah!) 

What was your biggest failure?

My biggest failure at the moment is the lack of conceiving. It’s hard to say out loud but it’s my truth. 

Where do you hope to be in 10 years? 

Oh wow, I haven’t thought of that one yet! In 10 years, having a house, and maybe 2 kids. Following my passions! 

If you could tell your younger self something, what would it be?

Life gets better with age. 

Don’t be afraid to speak up, use a loud and proud voice! 

Be heard! 

When someone says no, you make it a YES! 

If there is a will there’s a way! 

Don’t give up, whatever you do! 

Trust your gut! 

Reach out as much as you can! People are willing to help if you are passionate about what you do. 

Find mentors! They are the best people to help you make your path! It’s the greatest thing I’ve ever done! Not only are they people I look up to, but they are life long friends! In the end, you both help each other out! 

You are valuable! Don’t let anyone take your power away! 

Meghann can be found on IG at: http://instagram.com/challah_at_meg

Also Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MegsChallah

 

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