Hugimals Customer Spotlight, Linsdey Austin: "I use my Hugimal for comfort after breast cancer treatment."

Hugimals Customer Spotlight, Linsdey Austin: "I use my Hugimal for comfort after breast cancer treatment."

Hugimals Customer Spotlight, Linsdey Austin: "I use my Hugimal for comfort after breast cancer treatment."

In this series, Hugimals founder Marina Khidekel chats with customers about their experience with Hugimals World's products.

Customer: Lindsey Austin, Yazoo, Mississippi

About Lindsey: Married to husband and high school sweetheart Gary (together since 1999!); three kids: ages 17,14, and 10.

Hugimals purchased: Sam the Sloth, Charlie the Puppy, Frankie the Cat


Thanks for chatting with me, Lindsey! So, how did you first hear about Hugimals and what inspired you to buy your first one?

Hi Marina, so nice to meet you! Hugimals popped up in my Instagram or Facebook feed one day. I have always loved stuffed animals since I was a kid, and slept with one until I was married and having kids, then I stopped. I was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 37, and had a double mastectomy. My grandmother had breast cancer, so I got tested early, and I was very blessed to have caught it and gotten treated early, which kept me from having to do chemo and radiation. But the treatment did send me into early menopause. The hot flashes are awful — I tried a weighted blanket, but it was too hot. And my anxiety is a lot worse than it used to be because of the drop in estrogen.

I had gotten my youngest daughter Presley a weighted Stitch from Disney, and then got myself a weighted cheetah from Target before my first reconstruction surgery. I liked them fine, but they were weighted very lightly. So when I saw Hugimals and that they were a heavier weight, and saw everybody in your videos talking about how it feels like holding a baby, I decided to order Sam the Sloth.



How did you like the Hugimal when you first got it?

I liked Sam right off the bat, and have been sleeping with him ever since. I thought it was a really good weight, very soothing, adorable and super well-made — and oh my gosh, it does feel like holding a newborn baby like the videos said. So comforting! I like how its weight is distributed throughout its limbs, and love that you can machine wash the plush. I also like that the velcro isn’t really obvious, like the Stitch weighted plush’s is. Presley saw my Sam and wanted one for herself, so I ordered Frankie the Cat for her.  



How have you and your family been using Hugimals?

I sleep hugging my Sam every night. I even take him on vacations with me: I took him to deer camp and recently to Niagara Falls. Presley had to get a tooth pulled at the dentist’s, and we brought Frankie. All the ladies who worked there were like, What is that? They were so into it. It was funny, one of the girls picked it up without realizing how heavy it was and was so surprised. All of them were hugging it and loved it. I told them they should get some for their practice for kids to hold when having a procedure done. I can totally see where kids with sensory issues would benefit from them.

Presley has pretty bad anxiety during thunderstorms, and she uses her Frankie when she’s anxious. She also plays with her Frankie as a toy. She’s outgrowing the babydoll phase but because Frankie feels like a baby, I’ll see her use it for play, tossing it and catching it like a child, and putting clothes on it.




Have you given a Hugimal as a gift to someone else? What was their reaction?

Yes, I ordered Charlie the Puppy for my nephew. He absolutely loves it. His mom has sent me several photos of him sleeping with his Charlie. 

What feedback do you have for us about Hugimals? Anything you’d like to see in the future?

I really can’t say they need any improvements — I think they’re perfect! My only request is for more characters. I’d love a bunny or an otter.  

Thank you so much for sharing your story, Lindsey! I'm inspired by your  journey and your strength.