SANYA Rehman has always had a creative flair and now she is putting it to good use - through her passion for fashion.

Along with her schoolpal, Zahra Mahmood, the duo are proving a force to be reckoned with in what is a highly competitive industry.

After honing their skills plying their styles on market stalls in their home city of Bradford, the girls are now tapping into a niche designing modest pieces inspired by Western styles which can be comfortably worn within their own culture.

Sanya explains that high street styles don't always cover the parts of the body they want to cover, such as arms and legs. "We wanted to take inspiration from the high street but make it with full sleeves, long in length and make it more modest," she says,

Their success is testimony to the clothing they are busy designing and producing as they strive to achieve their ultimate ambition of developing their own brand.

And word is already spreading, as the girls recently showcased their creations, including their range of scarves and hijabs, at this year's Urban Muslim Fashion Show in the exclusive Mayfair area of London.

"That went really well," says Sanya, who says that as well as taking potential customers' details, the pair also managed to sell plenty of their stock gaining them plenty of exposure.

Participating in high profile fashion events is something the pair have worked hard to achieve. After meeting at Belle Vue Girls school they pursued their interests through studies.

They were 17 and still at school when they set up their market stalls in Bradford which they continued to run when they both went to Huddersfield University.

Sanya recalls they would get up early at weekends to sell on their stalls. They also ran a stall after school one day a week.

"We learned how to drive quickly as well so we had our own car to get back and forth," says Sanya. “We received such a buzz from trading with our clients on the market stall.

“We couldn’t wait to work on the stall after school and at the weekends to trade and talk with the customers. We just loved the whole atmosphere."

Says Zahra: "Running the market stall while studying was brilliant, but also hard work. I've always been passionate about the business and always used to look forward to going to the stall. It started off as a hobby then gradually it became more exciting and I wanted this business to be my career. However, studying at the same time was challenging when doing assignments and deadlines and it was a lot of pressure to get good grades at the same time.

"Having the market stall was a great way for us to learn and develop as entrepreneurs before establishing our brand. This helped us to identify our selling point, and our strategy in going forward."

Sanya recalls that during their second year studies for an Enterprise Development degree the pals had the opportunity to pitch to Theo Paphitis from BBC 2's Dragon's Den.

Born in Cyrprus, the successful businessman owns the Robert Dyas home essentials chain and his empire also includes property and finance.

"We showed him our business idea and he asked us questions and gave us motivation and encouragement that we could go really far with this," says Sanya.

As the girls' confidence grew they decided to take the plunge and open their own shop which they transformed from an empty business in Duckworth Lane, Heaton, into a modern and stylish fashion boutique they called Sanzaa, a combination of their names.

"Even now when we get customers they remember us from the market. We built up a reputation and still get all those customers who bought from us then," says Sanya.

“Sanzaa has grown and evolved with us,” adds Zahra. “Initially, we were selling just basic dresses, then we added scarves and hijabs to the collection. Now, we are designing our own unique pieces and accessories, just to keep up with the demand.”

The inspiration for their style came after the business partners noticed that many of the clothes in the high-street stores were unsuitable for muslim women to wear and, of the clothes which were suitable, there wasn’t a varied selection to choose from.

“We noticed a distinct gap in the market,” said Zahra. “The clothes in the high-street stores are gorgeous and really stylish, but they don’t fully meet the needs for modest muslim women. With Sanzaa’s collection, they now have more choice” she said.

“Our new modest wear collection is casual yet glamorous and great for any wardrobe,” added Sanya. “Our designs showcase that, however you choose to dress, you can always feel elegant, fashionable, beautiful and, most of all, individual. We can’t wait to share our upcoming range of beautiful clothing and hijabs.”

The pals are involved in the entire process, from design to creation. Sanya explains how she sketches out the designs which are then produced into a pattern. They choose the colours, the fabrics and check the manufactured samples before the collection is created.

"With fashion it never gets boring. There is always something new, there are always ideas you can work on and it is really exciting when you have come up with a design and when it is in production," says Sanya.

Adds Zahra: "I definitely have an interest in fashion as I enjoy working on new designs and bringing good products to the market. I am also business orientated, where I would take care of business operations, such as customer service, stock control, marketing etc. I feel it is very important to have a strong foundation, and a base in order to sell and market your products. Therefore I do enjoy the business side as I feel like I can make the business grow further to reach our goals and targets."

Since opening Sanzaa two years ago the girls are soaring to success. After completing their first year of trading, they were named in the top three of the Telegraph & Argus's Young Business Entrepreneur of the Year.

And since their profile at the Urban Muslim Fashion show, they are hoping the world could soon be their oyster.

For now, though, they're busy concentrating on investing in and developing their brand which they hope will soon be in demand nationally and globally.

"It is good and I think it is more exciting when you have somebody to talk to about it who shares the same passion with you and the same goal and dream," says Sanya, referring to her friendship with Zahra.

And her advice to anyone else considering following their dream? "I think the biggest thing is if you have a passion for something go for it because you will always be good at what you enjoy.

"It is all about motivation and being dedicated to what you are doing."