Jet Set Candy

Meet: Nicole Parker King

Nicole Parker King always dreamed of starting her own business. And while it would take many miles — literally — to make that dream come true, the sixth generation New Yorker and graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design eventually found her inspiration (and her destiny) on a visit to Sri Lanka.

It’s no secret that Parker King loves to travel. She has visited six continents and more than 60 countries. One of the many things she busies herself with while on the go, is hunting for unique souvenirs. On a trip to Sri Lanka in 2006, she spotted a man walking down the street with Sinhala script, the artistic lettering of the ancient language. She scoured the market looking for a t-shirt or an item adorned with the script, but found almost nothing beyond low-end trinkets, many of which were not even made in Sri Lanka. While Parker King didn’t find a t-shirt, she did leave with an idea — to create a brand of quality collectible items to fill the void.

Parker King

Parker King 1

While living in India for three-and-a-half years with her Australian diplomat husband (now currently at the United Nations), Parker King researched and refined the concept and began to create the designs that would form the debut collection for Jet Set Candy, which launched immediately upon the couple’s return to New York in October 2014.

Taking inspiration from vintage pieces, she designed a range of whimsical charms crafted from sterling silver, 14k vermeil, and 14k gold. The name “Jet Set” came from her love of travel. “Candy” came from Parker King’s mother, Peggy Healy Parker, who felt the brand needed a whimsical edge. From luggage tags inspired by passport stamps to replica landmark buildings, the collection is both clever and sophisticated, playful and stylish.

Parker King 2

Parker King 3

Healy Parker was also the force behind locating the business in NoMad, telling her daughter, “Nicole, this is where everything is happening!” Though Healy Parker died in 2021 of pancreatic cancer, her influence on the brand can still be felt in the office at 1133 Broadway that became the brand’s home base.

Parker King 5

Parker King, partnered with Abbey Truman to assist with operations and launch the website. The team readied to present to retailers and, armed with a detailed product list, landed their first trunk show with Bloomingdale’s.

Jet Set Candy opened its first store in July 2019 in NYC’s Grand Central Station. After a few successful months, the store was forced to close due to Covid. Parker King headed out of town to shelter, but had no intention of letting her initial success and hard work be shut down by the pandemic. Reconnecting with Delia Kosowicz, a creative entrepreneur and founder of Jo Handbags, who she had met at a Goldman Sachs business accelerator in 2016, Parker King pushed through those dark days, enlisting the help of Kosowicz to keep Jet Set Candy on the map. The pair worked tirelessly to fulfill shipping orders and today, Kosowicz — who subsequently shut down her own brand — is a partner and a strategist, working with Parker King to take the company to new levels of success.

Next stop: Los Angeles International Airport, where they plan to debut an innovative wall unit display that allows travelers on-the-go to pick up a beautifully packaged charm. And because there really is no place like home, Jet Set Candy’s newest charm puts her beloved neighborhood of NoMad in the spotlight. “It remains true to this day: No matter where I am in the world, I am always happy to be back in NY and back in NoMad in particular,” she said. “This neighborhood is such a vibrant and creative place. It is the ideal location for Jet Set Candy — it makes perfect sense to honor its charm!”

Parker King 4

Parker King 7

Parker King 8