We are Caitlin and Vicki, the parent and grandparent of two beautiful autistic kiddos with a wide range of sensory needs.
The Sensory Poodle exists out of a desire to provide a hassle-free way to discover and buy tried-and-tested sensory toys and tools.
We are based in Melbourne’s south-east but ship locally and interstate with expedited shipping options for those urgent orders when it just can’t wait.
We know the challenges and joys of living with neurodiverse and gifted children and adults, and we curate our product family carefully to create a range we know will suit a variety of needs.
Behind the brand
Written by Caitlin
I am the Mother of Lincoln & Evie, 2 very different but equally incredible kids.
The idea for The Sensory Poodle originally started because my son was having extreme anxiety and needed something to chew on that was safe. There was absolutely nothing locally where I could drive and grab something that day to help my son. Everything had to be ordered online and when your child is struggling the last thing you want to do is wait. So I chatted to my Mum and the idea was born to open our store with the focus on serving our local community and being as widely available as possible. We have had customers email us at 11pm at night, 5 in the morning in desperate need and if we can, we will accommodate. To see the relief on the face of the parent being able to have instant access to something is exactly what drives us.
As it turns out though, that very quickly evolved and The Sensory Poodle started shipping all over Australia pretty quickly (NZ we are coming to you soon!) We supply a large number of schools, clinics, and families who we absolutely adore and have formed some amazing relationships with some of the nicest families and kiddos.
One of the big driving factors for me was actually a selfish one. At the time of starting The Sensory Poodle, I was getting a decent amount of “those calls” from school and quite often had to drop what I was doing to pop down to school to sort something out. There was no way I could hold down a normal job and be able to be there for my kids whenever they needed me at the drop of a hat. It was a scary thought and I knew I had to think of something. We started The Sensory Poodle and I just hoped and prayed that it would work out and that this would be my flexible dream that allowed me to give my kids everything they need while also helping other families meet the needs for their kids and themselves.
One thing I am most proud of on the site is coming up with the concept of “Caring for Carers” As the parent of not only 2 autistic kids but one who is also gifted, this leads to a lot of stress, worry and burnout. I found myself often burnout trying to provide everything my kids needed and realised I was in no way looking after myself. I made it my goal to create a space on the site just for Carers. Be it Mum and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa, Foster Carer, Support worker, Teacher or siblings. Anyone who cares for a child with additional needs knows just how much it takes out of you and we want you to know we see you!
So thanks to all of you amazing people, I am now able to be fully available to my children and work around therapies, school, more therapies, meetings and even more therapies. It truly is such a humbling thing to have people love and trust your brand that they keep coming back again and again.