Destino The Label founder launches business after her dad passed away from brain cancer


Victoria Scuteri was 20 years old when she was told her father would lose his life to brain cancer. 

The café manager and her two siblings, from Melbourne, nervously waited for their mother to come home from hospital in 2020 when she delivered the devastating news. 

Her father Joe, 50, was diagnosed with glioblastoma (GMA) – an aggressive type of brain cancer – and was given just 12 months to live.

To honour his life, Victoria and Joe launched Destino The Label in October 2021, centred around Italian culture. 

Today their jewellery and candles sell every 10 minutes, and the products are stocked in more than 15 stores across Australia. 

Victoria Scuteri (pictured, left) launched Destino The Label inspired by her late-father Joe (pictured, right) who passed away in April 2021 after suffering from brain cancer 

The brand pays tribute to Joe's life and is inspired by the family's Italian heritage

The brand pays tribute to Joe’s life and is inspired by the family’s Italian heritage 

Before the diagnosis Joe was a busy man running fruit stalls, working 70 hours a week and never took a sick day. 

He experienced a seizure in April 2020 but was discharged from hospital. 

Victoria said their local GP kept pushing for further testing – and the brain tumour was eventually found.

‘Overnight he had brain surgery then six weeks later he started chemotherapy,’ she said. 

‘You never want anyone to go through this type of situation … it’s just terrible.’ 

After surgery Joe spent almost two months in hospital, where he underwent speech therapy. 

Today the jewellery and candles sell every 10 minutes, and the products are stocked in more than 15 stores across Australia

Today the jewellery and candles sell every 10 minutes, and the products are stocked in more than 15 stores across Australia

Victoria had just finished studying business at university and reduced her work hours to 15 hours a week after the diagnosis to spend more time with her dad.   

‘I just thought I want to be there and look after him,’ she told FEMAIL. 

‘He retired overnight so we started working on the business together to keep his mind active.

‘He was a spiritual man and the one thing that stuck with me was when he said: “Life is painfully beautiful. Don’t cry for me, I’m OK”.’ 

Before the shocking prognosis Joe (pictured with Victoria) was a busy man running fruit stalls, working 70 hours a week and never took a sick day

Before the shocking prognosis Joe (pictured with Victoria) was a busy man running fruit stalls, working 70 hours a week and never took a sick day

Victoria and Joe worked on developing the brand idea together before he passed away. The pair thought of the brand name 'Destino' together, meaning Destiny in Italian, and Joe always wore a 'cornicello' or 'corno' charm in the shape of a chilli around his neck

Victoria and Joe worked on developing the brand idea together before he passed away. The pair thought of the brand name ‘Destino’ together, meaning Destiny in Italian, and Joe always wore a ‘cornicello’ or ‘corno’ charm in the shape of a chilli around his neck

The pair thought of the brand name ‘Destino’ together, meaning Destiny in Italian, and Joe always wore a ‘cornicello’ or ‘corno’ charm in the shape of a chilli around his neck. 

‘In our household we say ‘Il Destino’ when something that can’t be explained happens – regardless if it’s tragic or amazing,’ Victoria said. 

The chili symbol represents good luck, wards off evil and brings protection for those who wear it – similarly to the ‘evil eye’. 

‘I wanted to create jewellery with cornos for women so we started sourcing the charms together and formulating the products,’ Victoria said.

‘We found the concept wasn’t known enough even though most Italians wear it from the day they’re born.’ 

The cornos are also placed around candles to protect the home and the scents were inspired by other aspects of Italian culture – including limoncello, cannoli, figs and the Amalfi coast. 

‘Dad always drank limoncello and I grew up eating fresh figs from Nonno’s trees, so every business decision made has a cultural meaning behind it,’ Victoria said. 

'In our household we say 'Il Destino' when something that can't be explained happens - regardless if it's tragic or amazing,' Victoria said

The chili symbol represents good luck, wards off evil and brings protection for those who wear it - similarly to the 'evil eye'

‘In our household we say ‘Il Destino’ when something that can’t be explained happens – regardless if it’s tragic or amazing,’ Victoria said. The chili symbol represents good luck, wards off evil and brings protection for those who wear it – similarly to the ‘evil eye’ 

Victoria said her dad lived life as normal until the last couple weeks before his death and unfortunately he passed away in June 2021

Victoria said her dad lived life as normal until the last couple weeks before his death and unfortunately he passed away in June 2021

Victoria said her dad lived life as normal until the last couple weeks before his death in June 2021.

‘Losing my dad was the biggest tragedy I have ever had to go through,’ she said. 

‘Especially because he won’t be there for my wedding or when I have kids. 

‘Losing dad felt like I had lost a massive part of myself, but through working on Destino I feel like I’m slowly regaining that back – it’s like he’s still with me.’

After launching the business turned over $10,000 in ten minutes and today it has turned over six figures.

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