Turning the corner at NJ Mom Baby Expo, I spotted a stroller I couldn’t take my eyes off, manufactured by a company called iCandy. Its sleek lines and beautiful fabric were steps above the usual strollers we see everywhere. When speaking with Steve, the iCandy representative, I learned that the stroller had just been brought to the United States and was being sold in a store in Brooklyn. He asked me if I’ve heard of Brooklyn and I laughed. I told him that not only did I live there, I lived within walking distance of the store that was selling his stroller. He was very enthusiastic about my reviewing the Peach stroller (its name, not color) as he thought it a great fit for the Jewish community.
When I received the stroller, I panicked a little bit, wondering if I would be able to put it together. Not only were the instructions very clear, every piece of the bassinet attached to its anchor by a color-coded zipper. Once it was assembled it looked as beautiful and classic as I remembered. Folding the stroller is very easy, and it even comes with a shoulder strap for carrying. The stroller pushes so smoothly and the larger wheels in the back allow it to easily glide over any terrain.
In the few weeks since I met Steve, several other stores in Brooklyn and elsewhere have begun carrying the iCandy Peach (right now it’s the only model available in the U.S.).
I had the pleasure of interviewing, via email, Bradley, who along with his brother Warren serves as co-CEO of iCandy World. (Their grandfather, Charles Appel, founded the company.)
What was Charles’s background and how did it lead to the invention of the iCandy carriage? I understand that Charles was in fashion. Can you elaborate?
Fabrics are what we know best. Established in London in 1933, the iCandy family business began as a tailoring company manufacturing overcoats that sourced and manufactured the highest quality materials on the market.
What was the original name of the company? When and why was it changed? Why iCandy? Are there still products produced under the original name?
The company was originally registered in London on 18 December 1933 under the name M & S Cohen Limited. It then changed to SCS (London) Limited.
When the current generation became involved in the late 1970s, the business was making children’s cycle helmets and car safety seats before developing a range of widely sold nursery products. In order to reach for the stars, we decided to channel our innovative thinking and demand for the highest quality down a niche route. In 2005, we created something special: a single to double stroller on a single footprint under a new label called iCandy – the name stems from our beloved childhood dog who was called Candy; she was a poodle and was only three weeks older than me. We officially became iCandy World Limited in 2010.
What other products does iCandy produce?
iCandy’s portfolio ranges from a lightweight, compact city stroller to the Peach All-Terrain, which is a true sporting powerhouse engineered to perform and master the countryside. From the iconic iCandy Peach which offers double functionality on a single footprint, to the iCandy MiChair, a stylish highchair that turns into a beautifully crafted piece of furniture for your child, iCandy futureproofs the lifecycle of every product so that it grows with every family.
The iCandy collection not only comprises beautiful and functional strollers and a stylish highchair, there are also coordinating accessories including diaper bags, umbrellas, drink holders and footmuffs.
iCandy has also just launched an apparel collection with 20% of proceeds from every sale going directly to London’s Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital Charity. Featuring a bear with a red heart, the t-shirts and sleepers are in honor of GOSH’s Bear Ward which cares for children with serious cardiac conditions.
iCandy also provides the hospital with specially modified strollers that can be used by children with cardiac conditions that require cumbersome equipment such as oxygen tanks.
GOSH Charity facilitated feedback and comments from the hospital’s nurses, which helped in the design of a stroller that would be functional, while providing a safe and comfortable environment for children. Modifications to the iCandy Strawberry included a strap to secure medical tubing and a buckle to secure an oxygen tank. An adapted harness also allows children who require complex medical equipment to sit in comfort. The strollers enable patients to be able to break away from the hospital environment with a walk to the local park.
I read that Prince Harry and Megan, Duchess of Sussex, chose the iCandy stroller. Is this so?
As a 5th generation family business we fully appreciate and go to great lengths to protect our clients’ privacy at such a personal time. All we can say is that there are a wide range of people, from members of the Royal family to film stars, business leaders to athletes and celebrity chefs to actors all around the world, all of whom love iCandy.
What are your and Warren’s backgrounds?
Warren and I were born and raised in London. I’ve been married for 36 years and Warren has been married for 29 years. Between us we have five children and so far, one grandchild. Our family joined Stanmore United Orthodox Synagogue/Temple, one of the UK’s largest, in the 1940s. In addition to getting married there we were also both bar mitzvah there, attending all cheder there and we were members of many youth groups too. The family business was instilled from a young age and many a school break would find my brother and I helping in the family business.
I read that the company won two Queen’s Awards. Being an American I don’t know the merits of these awards. Please explain.
iCandy is proud to have been recognized. The first award was the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade in 2016 and the second in 2018 for Innovation – a prestigious accolade acknowledging our outstanding contribution to contemporary British product design and engineering.
The Queen’s Award for Innovation is awarded for commercial success as a result of innovation. It’s the highest accolade that a UK business can receive and iCandy was the first British stroller manufacturer to be given the prestigious recognition.
The Queen’s Award for Enterprise is awarded to UK business for outstanding achievement in the categories of innovation, international trade, sustainable development and promoting opportunity through social mobility.
We were invited by Her Majesty the Queen on both occasions to visit her and her family at Buckingham Palace to celebrate our achievements.
State-of-the-art product innovation and development has allowed iCandy to push boundaries and cater to parents who want and deserve more. This balance of performance, luxury and design is iCandy’s signature, and the company refuses to compromise or accept limitations in its pursuit of perfection. iCandy takes pride in building a strong close-knit team and selecting candidates who are experts in their fields.
With an impressive 85 years of manufacturing pedigree and expertise, iCandy’s skilled designers continue to create on-trend products with fashion forward colors that also provide great function for the modern-day parent.