We are so thrilled to have iconic Silver Cross prams joining us at One Fine Baby this year. They have so many gorgeous, new designs to showcase this year. Keep an eye out for all the announcements prior to the Fair and test out these elegant, modern prams at the Fair.

We caught up with the Owner and Director, Sharnie Skene, to hear all about her journey to bring Silver Cross to the Australian market, the perks of running a family business and some of their incredible new prams that you can see at One Fine Baby in Melbourne and Sydney.

  • Can you give some background about the Silver Cross brand?

Silver Cross was established in 1877 by William Wilson, who invented the first baby carriage in Leeds London, on Silver Cross Street. Generations have given their children a daily look at the world from prams and pushchairs bearing our logo. Today, the name still stands for all those principles that William would have held dear. Uncompromising quality. Painstaking craftsmanship. Practical design.

The name Silver Cross has long been associated with royalty, first supplying a pram for King George VI. Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton has used the Silver Cross Balmoral pram for her children.

Out 141-year old heritage is what has set us apart from the rest. Silver Cross soon gained a reputation for high quality craftsmanship and design and grew to become one of the industry’s biggest exporters worldwide. By the mid-1900s, the company was renowned for producing the world’s most exclusive baby coaches – known as the “Rolls-Royce of prams”.

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  • How does a British company end up being operated by a family run Australian company? 

My husband (Stuart Skene, Director) and I were desperate for a Silver Cross heritage pram for our first born and they weren’t any available in Australia. I was working as a financial analyst at the time – reality hit that the long hours and the job were not going to be conducive to starting a family so I pulled together a proposal to Silver Cross, asking to become their Australian and New Zealand distributor.

The proposal paid off – now with my husband Stuart, a former boat-builder, and with a small and committed team we are totally focused on our portfolio within Premium Brands. We now work with hundreds of retailers across the trans-Tasman. And the best bit, we can now spend quality time with our gorgeous kids, Aspen, Alastair, Clementine and Max, when we want to as opposed to when we can.

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The Skene Family
  • When did you start operating the company and why did you decide to take on selling the brand?

I graduated from a Bachelor of Commerce in 1997. I worked as a research analyst, followed by a position as an Investment Analyst for a number of major financial institutions. My husband and I begin importing Silver Cross prams in 2007, and it has been all systems go since then. We are always on the prowl for wonderful new brands to add to our portfolio, as well as working closely with the global Silver Cross team to stay updated with the latest innovations, technologies and products.

  • What are the benefits and challenges of working with such as well-established brand?

The benefits far out-weight the challenges – juggling four kids and running the business at the same time! I wake up every day and love what I do, I think you have to. We’ve been so lucky, Silver Cross UK has been such a great company to work with. Silver Cross are constantly bringing out new designs, styles and colours and we are always listening to our customers. The classic and modern-vintage prams have been used by the royals for their children for many generations.

Marie-Chantal from Greece has designed a new pram for our called the Marie-Chanel Sleepover – it’s a modern twist on a vintage pram. Our heritage doll prams have been seen in the homes of royalty and rock stars, they are a childhood heirloom that are treasured forever. They are not just bought by children – there are pram and vintage collectors from around the world who purchase our prams – I love that!

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Marie-Chantal Sleepover
  • How does your family business run?

It’s a finely balanced tightrope of work and family. With four kids, we’re up early to get them ready for school, intermittently woven with trying to get through as many emails as I can. My husband and I are a team, we manage our individual jobs in the business and our small team based in Melbourne – we love running a family business and wouldn’t have it any other way.

There is quite a bit of travel, so on occasion its straight to meetings, trade shows or if I’m lucky, into the office/showroom, based in Braeside Victoria. Then it’s briefings with the teams, liaising with my retailers, exploring new product ranges and researching and learning about what parents want, need and think. I like to pick the kids up from school and spend some quality time with them. It’s so important to be present in those little moments – they grow up so fast.

  • There are so many prams and strollers on the market, how does Silver Cross set themselves apart from others?

Our four-wheel prams all come standard with a bassinet (suitable from newborn up to about 9kgs or 6 months) and a forward or reward facing seat which has the capacity to hold up to 25kgs – that’s about a five or six year old! Our strollers can also be used from newborn right up to 25kgs. What sets us apart is what always has – our quality and finer details. We have a HUGE shopping basket with our prams – and it’s durable. Our materials are all scotch guarded three times to withstand weather conditions and our bassinets are all bamboo lined with breathable anti-bacterial fabric – all these features make for one very happy baby!

Our prams come standard with a rain cover and cup holder – so people don’t need to purchase additional extras. And we are constantly bringing out Special Edition prams – which our customers love! Our Wave pram has won many awards and has only been in market two years. It’s my favourite pram – taking you from baby number one to your second so easily and has up to 16 different configurations. This year, we released several new products – Jet – a stroller that only weighs 5.9kgs and can be taken on as carry-on luggage, the Marie-Chantal Sleepover, Pioneer Surf Henley, Pioneer Monomarque and more to come!

  • How important is the brand’s history when it comes to selling items?

The Silver Cross brand has been around since 1877, generations of families use Silver Cross as their trusted brand – I love that some people have kept their prams from the 1960s and the pram has just remained in their family for future generations to use. 

  • Who designs the prams and strollers and what sort of process does this involve?

Our prams are designed in the UK. The main focus of the Silver Cross range is its modern travel collection, which incorporates a collection of 3-in-1 combination pram systems. This type of pram is characterised by its ability to be converted from a lie flat pram to a pushchair, to a travel system (with the addition of a baby car seat).

Our heritage doll prams are all lovingly hand-made in Yorkshire, England.  In addition to its combination prams, Silver Cross also produces strollers, doll prams, nursery furniture collections, nursery bedding and decor items, and a range of toys and gifts including classic teddy bears and traditional rag dolls.

  • Which products are particularly popular?

Our Wave is one of our most popular prams, typically because of the 16 different configurations, it has with the addition of the tandem seat. And if you never use it as a double pram, it’s still the perfect single pram – with easy access to the generous shopping basket and it comes with every accessory you need – 2 x rain covers, 2 x mosquito nets, cup holder, rain cover and car capsule adaptors. Our Pioneer and Special Edition prams are also popular – the materials, style, rich inky fabrics is what draws people to them. 

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Wave Sable
  • Where does Silver Cross see itself in the future?

Silver Cross is growing and expanding its beautiful line of modern and contemporary prams and strollers and adding more accessories to the range in the future. We know and understand our market and what they want, we are constantly providing this information back to our head office in the UK. This year we are bringing out several new prams, models and styles – watch this space!!!