The Early Days
Prior to 2008, Donna Chambers had never heard of a weighted blanket. It wasn’t until her grandson, David, was diagnosed with Autism that she learned about these therapy blankets and their many benefits. After an acquaintance suggested getting David a weighted blanket to help him sleep better, Donna started to look for the perfect blanket. Frustrated over the quality and lack of affordability of the blankets she found, Donna decided to make one herself. With help from her friend, Carol Kittle, the two made a pattern, and through trial and error, created their first weighted blanket in the quilting room of their church.
When Donna noticed how effective the weighted blanket was for David, she decided to make more affordable weighted blankets to help others. Within months her blankets became so popular that Donna started contracting local seamstresses to work for her, and she opened her first online store: Affordable Weighted Blankets. The business originally operated out of Donna’s home before briefly moving to a small apartment unit. By June 2009 the business finally found its home in a warehouse in the historic neighborhood of St. Elmo, TN. While the seamstresses continued to work from home, Affordable Weighted Blankets had a permanent office space and warehouse storage.
For the next few years, Affordable Weighted Blankets continued to run out of the St. Elmo location. Business grew steadily, and the team along with it. Donna contracted more seamstresses, and several new people joined the office to help things run smoothly.
Donna’s grandson David, he has autism and is non-verbal
After a while, Donna realized she wanted to take the business in a new direction and offer more variety to her customers. Her goal was to create a one-stop shop for people with sensory needs, and she decided to rename the company to better express that new goal. In September 2011, Affordable Weighted Blankets officially changed its name to SensaCalm, and with the new name came an expanded product line that included weighted vests and belts, sensory products such as soaps and lotions, safety gear, ID bracelets, and more.
Since 2011, SensaCalm has continued to grow. A few dozen orders a month has turned into a few hundred. The number of contracted seamstresses has tripled. And the demand for weighted blankets and other sensory items has never been higher. To keep up with these changes, the company underwent a rebranding process in 2014 that included a new logo, updated print materials, further expansion of the product line, and a revamped online store. The goal of this process was to uphold SensaCalm’s mission of providing high-quality weighted blankets and related sensory products to children and adults in need, insuring them and their families less stress, more rest, and a higher quality of life.