Some of the crew
Twelve years ago, my grandson, David, had recently diagnosed with Autism. I was researching natural ways to help him sleep and heard wonderful things about weighted blankets but at the time there weren't many places to buy affordable, well made weighted blankets. I went to a seamstress friend and we put our heads together to craft a weighted blanket that was not just heavy, but soft, fluffy and cushiony like a comforter, something that was not being done at the time.
See the video about David, our inspiration here
The blanket helped soothe his anxiety and improved his sleep so I created a website offering them for sale. Before long I was getting requests from all over to make the best custom weighted blankets for other people. I hired my friend and her friends and the company grew organically from there.
Eleven years later we have a full staff of people here in Chattanooga hand making blankets for people all over the world. My daughter, Sarah, is the manager while my nephew, Cody does customer service, son Bradley does web site development, and we have many long term employees in shipping and manufacturing.
Our Mission Statement
Since 2008, SensaCalm has been custom sewing weighted blankets and other sensory products to offer people a natural way to have “Less Stress, More Rest.®” Our mission is to provide fair, friendly customer service and the highest quality, most comfortable weighted products, hand-sewn in the USA by skilled workers earning a living wage.
Originally we served mostly the autistic community. The growing popularity of weighted blankets in recent years has broadened our customer base to include anyone with anxiety or who is seeking the most sound sleep imaginable.
How the new mainstream interest has affected our business
The recent mainstream popularity of weighted blankets has significantly increased the number of people who know about and want one of these blankets. But with the spike in demand and publicity an even greater surge in supply has flooded the market. While we’ve always encouraged healthy competition and innovation as way to grow the market, what you’re seeing currently is more like a gold rush mentality. The trouble with that is that you now have a lot of speculators, investors and capitalists who only see the bottom line in dollar signs and will do whatever they deem necessary to undercut competitors, make themselves stand out and more importantly, cut costs. Despite slick PR and marketing a lot of these fly-by-night organizations are actually thinly-veiled marketing companies who see a blanket as a widget, not as an important tool for a person in need.
The primary way the majority of new companies are trying to win that “race to the bottom’ -- to rush hastily made blankets onto the shelves to capitalize on consumer demand is that they’re often doing so at the expense of the American worker and, ultimately, to the detriment of many customers who are going to end up with very poorly made, imported “fast fashion” with no regulation for things like worker’s rights and product safety. When dissatisfied customers take to social media or review sites to express their displeasure at junk, they may not admit that “you get what you pay for” so there could be a backlash and a market correction when some of these imitators start to become exposed. You don’t have to go further than the comment threads of some of these startups to understand the gravity of the situation.
We’ll stick to our guns and continue to put customer service, employee well-being and quality first by overseeing our boutique family business here in Chattanooga. It’s worked for over a decade and, “if the creek don’t rise” we’ll still be here in another ten years when many of the current market sharks will have swam on to exploit another trend.