The story of a small business that makes weighted blankets for special needs.
Online PR News – 18-April-2012 – Chattanooga, Tennessee – There’s a charming little company in the St Elmo community of Chattanooga, Tennessee called SensaCalm. It had its humble beginnings in the quilting room at a local church, St. Elmo Avenue Baptist.
The owner, Donna Chambers, has a grandson with autism. A therapist mentioned to her daughter that David might sleep better with a therapeutic weighted blanket. Not knowing what this was, she went to the internet and found it was a special blanket literally made with weights inside to help children and adults with Sensory Processing Disorder, Autism, ADHD, etc. The same premise as swaddling a baby, a weighted blanket presses against the body, soothing the nervous system.
Testimonies about results were amazing. People that hadn't been sleeping suddenly started sleeping. Autism meltdowns were soothed. Students at school and even Adults on the job found that using weighted lap pads or wraps could help them focus. The biggest problem was that weighted blankets were prohibitively expensive.
Further searching yielded a rudimentary weighted blanket pattern, and Donna took it to Carol, her pastor’s wife. They met in the church quilting room and went over the pattern, filling in the gaps, and adding their own special touches. Carol made the first “Affordable Weighted Blanket.” (and David loved it!!!) That weighted blanket is 4 yrs old now and still looks great.
Donna created a free website called "Affordable Weighted Blankets" with less than 10 fabric choices, and offered the weighted blankets for sale in 2008. Business was slow to begin with and she continued to work at her day job. When orders came in, Carol or her daughter Cynthia would sew them and deliver them to Donna, who would package them on the conference table at her job during lunch hour and take them home to be picked up for ground shipping. They prayed over each blanket as it was made, praying for the recipient and their family.
When they were finally listed by google, business started taking on a life of its own! Great feedback and word of mouth advertising from the Autism and Special Needs Community grew the business even further. Customers appreciated the special attention a small business could give them, and the special touch of prayer even when they practiced a different religion or none at all.
As part of the growing vision for the company, they have changed the name to “SensaCalm”, Home of the Original Affordable Weighted Blanket. SensaCalm carries a variety of special needs, safety, and therapeutic products for children and adults. They ship their products all over the world.
These days Donna, 2 office employees, 1 web designer, five seamstresses and their spouses make up the team. Donna left her day job years ago. Hundreds of weighted blankets are made each month…and they still pray over every one.
Owned and operated by the 45 year old Nana to an adorable 8 yr old boy with autism.
SensaCalm offers custom weighted blankets and accessories for children and adults affected by Autism, ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder. There are over (80) 100% cotton fabrics offered on the website, and Special Order fabrics are available. Started in 2008 as Affordable Weighted Blankets, they increased the product line in 2011 and changed the name to SensCalm. Sound Machines, Chewy Tubes, Scented Items, and Safety ID Bands are just a few of the new items found on the website. Customer assistance is available by calling, emailing, or using the live chat feature on the website. For more information, visit www.SensaCalm.com.