When it comes to women’s empowerment, Italian jewellery house Pomellato has this notion at the heart of the brand. An Italian jeweller that is built on being unconventional and out of the box, Pomellato has spent the last ve decades creating unique and beautiful creations for women. Sabina Belli joined as the first female CEO with the mission of empowering women.
This is something that is part of the Group’s parent company; Kering’s, broader focus on women’s rights and aims to include ladies from all walks of life, working to empower them to achieve their dreams. Sabina Belli is a woman who is successful and inspiring herself. She appreciates the unique strength of women today and their unique qualities, as well as the ways in which jewellery and the Pomellato brand can make them feel empowered. As the first female CEO of the Italian fine jeweller, it seems as though Belli is in the perfect role with her own values and missions perfectly aligned with that of the house. Here we discuss what women’s empowerment means to her and achieving success as a woman in a world man’s world.
Our March issue is celebrating women in power and women with success stories. Being at the helm of Pomellato and leading the brand, what are the leadership rules and work values you live by?
Allow me to make a short premise. Pomellato is a brand that stands with women today and it has always been like this, since its inception. Therefore, as a woman and a woman CEO, the importance of the ’empowerment of women’ is a strong value. This is a much more important task than a business goal. I encourage and strive to provide equality and equal career opportunities for my employees; I want to give them the motivation to make them believe in what they are capable of as passionate and professional people. Gender should not be a problem at work and beyond. So, Pomellato and I share a common philosophy in which women’s empowerment is key, I believe that a company needs to share strong values with its audience. As leaders we need to pursue a higher purpose, to create a common vision that in my case drives the entire Pomellato family to create handmade and sustainable products that bring joy to women in the world.
How do you deal with challenges professionally and as a person?
Through my personal experience, I have selected some characteristics that define me and guide me as a CEO. I would say that it is important to have a lot of physical and mental energy. To pursue a collective or individual project towards success implies a ‘physique du rôle’ which conveys motivation and determination. And to always believe in the power of collective intelligence, even though you decide for yourself by taking on all the responsibilities for what it entails. I always try to look at things – and challenges especially – from different angles before making a decision.
How do you define success, and in your opinion what are the prerequisites to achieving it?
Success is interpreted in different ways by every person. It can’t be defined. I often use this anecdote from a past professional experience. We were facing a difficult choice for a store we wanted to buy and after several proposals from the team, the big boss suggested: ‘Why don’t you buy the building?’ Today for me, ‘let’s buy the building’ means to believe in the dream that is inside each of us, whether in your personal or professional life, encouraging us to rise above our limits and think big.
Have you ever dealt with failure? Or faced being judged as a woman and how did you overcome it?
Of course. Everyone has failed at some point in life. And yes I have also been judged as a woman in a world of men, it was not easy, but again all that happens in life helps you to grow stronger and to fight for yourself and your dreams. I always tell my daughters to be themselves whatever happens. Our dignity and self-confidence are key if we want to make the difference.
In your opinion, do you think women now are learning to support each other and not be intimidated by each other’s success?
Solidarity between women is still to be achieved, it is not a simple task but we are in the right direction. I think it is important to support each other, to hear each other’s story and each one of us express our unique talents. Culture and mentality are changing and women do not need to feel guilty if they want to choose a professional career rather than growing a family for example. As each one of us succeeds we pave new ways for all womankind.
Women’s empowerment is a drive that is very much in the spotlight today, and Pomellato has always been a brand that celebrates women and their empowerment; tell us more about the brand’s latest initiatives towards supporting that.
Women are at the centre of the Pomellato universe. In 1967, when Pomellato was founded, the role of women in society was radically changing. Women were becoming more independent, self-con dent and seeking new roles in society. Pomellato has been with women since the day it was founded and has been designing jewellery with them in mind. In fact, Pomellato breaks the rules of traditional jewellery to meet the needs of today’s women. Today we wish to create a community of women of all ages and walks of life to inspire each other through the #PomellatoForWomen communication platform. This is our legacy. And today is the time to develop the idea of authentic beauty with a more positive concept of empowerment than ever before. Very soon we will gather great women in our first ‘Pomellato For Women Forum’ in order to act concretely towards such important topics as sisterhood, gender equality, inclusivity and female leadership.
Recently, during Milan Fashion Week, you launched a beautiful collection, ‘Fantina’, tell us more about this collection and its story.
Fantina is a brand new gold Collection; we started with our origins and the word ‘Pomellato’ which stands for a ‘dappled horse’. The name was chosen by the founder Pino Rabolini because he wanted to ‘ride his own destiny’ by becoming an entrepreneur. So Fantina is a mix of our equestrian heritage and the pure and sophisticated Milanese contemporary design with curvy lines in rose or white gold, very feminine and I would say conceived for a modern woman.
What can you share with us on your upcoming projects in the Middle East?
We have room to grow in this region and we recently opened a wonderful boutique in Kuwait at The Avenues and we will soon refurbish our store at the Dubai Mall. Moreover, we think that Arab women are more and more taking the lead and we want to be on their side too…so I invite you to stay tuned as you’ll see something soon!
What is your vision in moving forward for Pomellato?
Pomellato has an extraordinary, colourful and sensual design and the organic feel that characterises every piece thanks to the hands of our artisans is one of the unique features of the brand. Every jewellery piece is created with 100% responsible gold by more than 100 artisans working every day at Casa Pomellato. I believe that today’s identity is tomorrow’s value and the importance of building on sustainable jewellery as well as transferring our savoir-faire to the young generations is key for a successful brand.
What is something that you still aim to achieve as a brand?
I think Pomellato has great potential to make more women all over the world fall in love with our jewels. The pursuit of sustainability and towards a more inclusive attitude are a responsibility of all brands, including us.
And you as a person?
More time for myself and the ones I love. In general, the pursuit of happiness and harmony which to me also means mentoring younger women and giving back.
What is the motto you tell yourself?
‘Be grateful for what you have’ and be thankful for those who have believed in you and the people who have given you opportunities; your door openers.
What do you consider your proudest achievement?
I feel accomplished. I was able to choose my career and build a family with three wonderful daughters. It took negotiating new forms of balance at different times. I am proud to sit in a position of responsibility and influence especially as a woman, well aware of being in a minority as only a few women in the world today have this type of opportunity.
Pomellato in one word?