NOREEN Abbasi grew up on Great Horton Road to the sound of her mother's old sewing-machine, churning out garments for the family.

Having inherited her dressmaking skills, Noreen started making her own clothes, channelling her flair for fashion into her designs.

It was while juggling her job in banking with being a mother to two young sons that Noreen decided on a change of career, putting her creative streak to use.

"I got a degree in maths then went to London to work as an investment banker, but I always loved fashion and was getting compliments on my clothes," says Noreen, 32, who was born in Bradford and went to St Joseph's College in Manningham. "You know you've got natural flair when people make a point of saying how much they like the clothes you're wearing that you've made yourself."

With a shared love of fashion and a talent for design, Noreen and her cousin, Nazia Hasan, who is also from Bradford, and their friend Aysha Chapti came up with an idea for a clothing collection for busy, stylish women.

The result was Treedolls, a clothing label aiming to empower women through affordable fashion that doesn't compromise on style. The online business, launched last autumn, is now taking off and the trio behind it are talking to high street retailers about extending their empire.

Now based in London, the business began in Bradford. "I was at Cannon Mills a couple of years ago and got talking to a stallholder about setting up a clothing business. I thought we'd have to go to China or India for manufacturing but he mentioned a few manufacturing places in Bradford, and a wholesaler, so that's where I started. I built so many connections there," says Noreen, whose grandparents arrived in Bradford from Pakistan as first generation settlers.

For Noreen, Nazia and Aysha, the drive behind setting up a business came from looking at what they liked about fashion, and what they felt was missing in the market.

"We got together about two years ago to put some plans in place and we did a lot of talking about setting up a business. In the end we thought: 'Right, let's do it'. It's less than a year old and it's going well," says Noreen. "It was a risk, giving up a career, but there is so much support in the business world now, with grants and practical help in starting out. There's a sense of encouragement to set up in business, and help the economy."

Noreen says the collections are designed with real women in mind.

"So many designs on the high street are by men, who make what they think women should wear. As busy working women, two of us with children, we understand what women really want!" she says.

"Clothes give you confidence; when you love what you're wearing you feel empowered. We wanted to create clothes that are stylish and chic, but also hassle-free and affordable. Being affordable shouldn't mean compromising on style. Versatility is also key; they're the kind of designs that you can wear every day take you through the day and into the night, jazzed up with accessories. It's fashion for women, by women."

Working in banking, Noreen's daywear was confined to the corporate look. "I wore a lot of suits, but suits can be stylish," she says. "You can customise any outfit if you know how to accessorise. We're working on an accessories range."

They are currently working on their spring/summer collection, which Noreen reveals involves "a lot of prints and a Seventies feel, floaty dresses and skirts".

As well as being stylish and practical, the clothes reflect the three women's cultural heritage, and the diversity of modern Britain.

"The UK is so diverse, we wanted to bring that to our collections," says Noreen. "Our styles are mainly western but offer something a bit different to the mainstream styles you find on the high street.

"All three of us are British, but we're not Caucasian, and we didn't feel the high street reflected how we wanted to look."

The label includes elegant dresses and chic separates. The design process is collaborative, with Noreen, Nazia and Aysha working together on ideas, then their designs are sent to a pattern-maker before going to the manufacturer. The women use local manufacturers and material.

"It's important to us to keep it all in this country. We oversee the entire process, from choosing the fabric at local wholesalers to manufacturing," says Noreen, who is currently expecting her third child. "We do the accounts and the website, and deal with every order ourselves. We've each learned so much along the way. It's hard work, especially balancing it all with family life, but it's rewarding to be doing what we dreamed of."

The trio came up with the name Treedolls because it reflected their vision of sisterhood. "A tree is strong, like women are strong, and has many roots and branches. Our roots are in family and heritage, but we have branched out to follow our dream," says Noreen. "It's also a name you don't forget!

“We hope to be role models for women; to show that if you're prepared to take opportunities, and risks, and put the work in, you can reach your goals. "Lots of young girls don't have the confidence to follow their dreams, and dressmaking isn't taught in schools like it used to be. My mum worked as a seamstress and I remember going with her to Bombay Stores in Bradford. Sewing was a skill passed down in families but it's slowly dying.

"We want to show that dressmaking can be a career, not just a hobby.

"I'd like to do motivational talks in schools. Nobody did that for me, and it has taken a while for me to do what I really want to be doing."