There once was a woman… And so begins the history of Alfa Omega…
There once was a woman born in the first half of the 20th century, a time when women were supposed to have “big hair and small ideas”, when a woman’s job was to cook, sew, mend, do the laundry, take care of the young and the old, a time when the thought that a woman could become a business owner was hardly conceivable.
This woman’s name is Maria Bellettini, and her story is different.
At a young age she married Lino Monari, a man who saw the worth of the exceptional creature he had married and never tried to tame her, but supported her and her projects, never feeling threatened by her drive, but lucky to be chosen by her.
Maria cut her hair, shortened her skirts, got her GED as a surveyor and entered one of the most man-dominated and sexist work fields of the time.
She was a business woman and nothing could stop her, she would go to building sites and quarrel with foremen, and gain their respect.
She opened shops and since the very beginning hired many women, wanting to give them the opportunities that until that moment were denied to them. She fought to refute the idea that men-only and women-only jobs existed.
Despite her busy work life Maria became a mother, giving birth to Elio, her son, and later Donatella, her daughter.
She felt unstoppable, but she soon had to learn that no matter the path we take in life, we must at times face hardship.
One day, bad news arrived:
Lino was ill, doctors had told him that traditional medicine could do little to ease his pain.
Maria didn’t give up; she had heard about an alternative form of healing, one that did not only cure the symptom, but the individual as well: homeopathy.
She then decided to show Lino to homeopaths who combined traditional therapies with homeopathic medicine and phytotherapy, which exploits plants’ healing proprieties.
The synergy between traditional medicine, homeopathy and herbal medicine improved Lino’s health condition and he soon began to feel better.
Maria herself fell sick three times, and each time she was treated with a combination of traditional medicine, surgery, homeopathy and herbal medicine.
She was a fighter, and, to the surprise of doctors, she fully recovered and went back to her normal life.
When asked to tell her story, she used to smile and say that she was cured by medicine, homeopathy, the cleverness and good heart of her doctors, but also by her own stubbornness.
Feeling stronger after all she had been through, one night Maria had an idea: to open a homeopathic products laboratory.
On that night in 1985, Alfa Omega was born.
The same year, in the Po Delta park, surrounded by orchards and fields and away from the city bustle and the pollution of the factories of the industrial area, a small laboratory was opened. It soon became an Italian benchmark not only for homeopathy, but also for nutraceuticals, plant processing and for the most advanced production and analysis techniques concerning raw materials and finished goods.
Consistent with her beliefs, Maria hired both men and women, but apart from her son Elio she only chose women to work by her side at the head of the company.
Alfa Omega is a company made by and for women.
As a mother, a grandmother and a business woman, Maria knew that women should never have to choose between their career and their family. She thus created a dedicated area inside the company, where her employees could nurture and breastfeed their new-borns after returning from maternity leave or could take their children and let them play and do their school homework in a safe environment.
This astonishing woman passed away on April 2nd, 2018.
She left the responsibility of carrying on her legacy not only to her son Elio and her niece Angela, but to all of us, “her” women.
Maria continues to live in our hearts, and together with Angela and Elio we are carrying on her dream to see Alfa Omega prosper. Alfa Omega is a one of a kind company, for it is upheld by people rather than by walls, and lays its foundations in the dreams of three generations of women.
And this is just the beginning…