WALKING down the street and seeing a complete stranger wear her product is the ``greatest thrill'' for Tasmanian-born designer Rachael Ruddick.
Ruddick was back in her home town of Launceston hosting a trunk show event and launching her new spring-summer collection at Justin Paul yesterday.
The renowned designer, who now lives in New York with her husband and six-year-old daughter, flew home on Thursday to see friends and family.
``It's nice to be back and lovely to see some familiar faces,'' Ruddick said yesterday.
Ruddick grew up in East Launceston, attended East Launceston Primary School and Launceston Church Grammar School.
She left the state at 17 to spend eight months in France.
At 21, she got a job working for Christian Dior after studying international trade and hotel management, and then spent 15 years working with French multinational luxury goods group LVMH.
``I worked so damn hard and I put my hand up at the right time,'' Ruddick said.
``I pushed for an interview and started at the bottom.''
Ruddick launched her own luxury goods label, branded under her own name, in 2009.
``We started by setting up trunk shows for families and friends.
``It was about two years after I set it up, that we moved to London, and we launched in Selfridges and Harrods.''
The company, best known for its handbags and cuffs, has since been launched in the US and now includes a small shoe line.
Ruddick said she was more design-driven than fashion-driven, and for her, it was about creating beautiful, practical piece that could last a lifetime, not just a fashion trend.
``I've always loved design and art.
``There's nothing better than walking down the street seeing a complete stranger wear your product.
``A girl (in Launceston) said to me the other day, I love your cuffs so much, my boyfriend buys them for me. I was so thrilled to hear that.''