From the Shelbyville News, September 21, 2005

Triton Central graduate stays busy with T-shirt company, writing books
By STEVE TALBERT NEWS correspondent

Embracing the basic business strategy of “find a need and fill it,” Jacqueline (Williams) Wilson launched a unique line of trendy-yet-affordable T-shirts for women when she couldn’t find what she was looking for in department stores.

“Up until a few years ago, I spent anywhere from 50 to 80 hours a week dressed in business suits or proper business attire,” Wilson said. “Although I always liked to dress trendy, I soon found that my wardrobe contained fewer and fewer jeans and even fewer casual shirts.”

When Wilson, a 1987 Triton Central High School graduate, started working at home, she began looking for fashionable-yet-comfortable clothes to wear around the house and out with friends. “I soon found that I was disappointed at many of the casual shirts on the market. Too boxy or manly or unoriginal or expensive,” Wilson said.

“When shopping at a department store, I was amazed at the price of some of the T-shirts.”

Inspired by the idea of creating her own shirts, the former Fairland resident found a California-based company to print the T-shirts and to take care of the e-store part.

“My T-biz came about the same way that everything does for me,” she said. “It just starts as a thought, and the next thing I know, I’m doing it!”

Called “Explosive Kiss,” Wilson’s original T-shirt line features large lips and cute sayings, including the popular “Kiss the Bride,” “Kiss the Bridesmaid” and “Kiss the Boys and Make Them Cry.”

Advertisements for the former Fairland resident’s apparel have appeared in US Magazine and Elegant Bride magazine. Her exclusive items are available at authorized specialty boutiques and online at

Wilson, 36, designed her Web site and all of her products. “I make the artwork,” she said. “I come up with the ideas, and then make the sayings and art.” The shirts incorporate an imaging process that Wilson calls “artography,” the melding of art and photography.

“Sometimes images are digitally manipulated,” Wilson said, “and sometimes they are physically manipulated to capture a unique perspective.”

Wanting something unique and catchy, Wilson created artsy images of her own lips.

“I made a print of my lips with an ‘exploding’ background a la ‘Explosive Kiss,’” Wilson said. “I’ll be expanding beyond kiss-themed stuff someday.”

Wilson’s passion for design stems from a lifelong love of photography.

“My experience came from playing with my father’s old 35 mm camera ... and then later a Polaroid camera,” she said.

“My photographs and artography are representative of moods and situations that capture my attention.”

Since its launch in 2004, “Explosive Kiss” has garnered attention from both buyers and sellers.

“I get lots of e-mails from people who love my stuff,” she said, “and I have a huge amount of interest from boutiques who want to be re-sellers. Right now, I’m in the conundrum of deciding whether I want to be a retailer or a re-seller solely.

Deeply moved by the destruction of Hurricane Katrina, Wilson is creating a non-kiss-related category of T-shirts and cards. At least through 2005, 50 percent of the profits will be donated to the Red Cross, Convoy of Hope and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for relief efforts.

“That covers things that are near and dear to my heart: helping people, New Orleans and animals,” she said.

A registered health-information administrator, Wilson is a freelance writer and consultant in the health-care arena. She also has taught medical-specialty college courses — including medical terminology and anatomy, standards in health care, technology in health care, fundamentals of health-information systems, curriculum development and clinical-documentation standards — in classrooms and via the Internet.

The author of several unpublished children’s books, Wilson recently finished “The Quarter,” a mystery novel that is set in New Orleans. “‘The Quarter’s’ main character is Tory Rockton — a psychologist living in the Washington, D.C., area,” Wilson said.

“Tory’s affluent life is turned upside-down with the sudden and inexplicable death of her relatively healthy mother. A box of unusual family clues takes Tory on a journey of twists and turns through New Orleans voodoo country — including plantations, bars, cemeteries and hospitals — in search of answers.”

Incorporating fact into her fiction, Wilson is rewriting the book epilogue to include Hurricane Katrina.

“The Payer,” Wilson’s second novel in a planned New Orleans mystery series, also reflects the Katrina Hurricane damage and devastation. Soon, Wilson will post excerpts from both books at www.JacquelineWilson.info.

Wilson has never lived in New Orleans, but she has been a frequent visitor. “I’m fascinated by New Orleans and its mix of extremes — from Catholicism to voodoo, from extremely wealthy to extremely poverty-stricken, from the highly educated and cultured to uneducated and the mix of English, French, Cajun and Creole languages and cultures,” she said.

“People have always fascinated me, and I love to see interaction of people with different backgrounds and viewpoints.”

Wilson is currently working on a large-scale philanthropic program, called Project KISS, to help women in unfortunate circumstances.

Project KISS evolved because it was a given that my company would be involved in some humanitarian effort,” she said. “I always have been involved ... have always volunteered.

Still in the developmental stages, Wilson’s Web site will include valuable information and links to free resources, including suicide hotlines and abuse help. She even hopes to provide, through donations, free business outfits suitable for interviews.

The former Fairland resident received a Bachelor of Science degree from Indiana University School of Medicine, School of Allied Health, in Indianapolis in 1992. Wilson recently received the 2005 Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers® award to honor her commitment to students and teaching in the medical field. She and her husband, Todd Wilson, a sales director for Epson’s home division, reside in the Southeastern Blue Water Region of Michigan. Her older brother, Jeff Williams, lives in Fountaintown. Their parents, Ken and Linda Williams, still live in Fairland.