In 1958 Nicole & Willy Aractingi started the “Au Petit Point” business in a small shop in Justinien Street, West Beirut.
Few years later, as business was growing, they started expanding and rented extra spaces adjacent to their original shop.
At that time their main business was embroideries on canvas: they were providing the clients with the pattern, the canvas and the woolen threads.
The decoration of the “Au Petit Point” shop was mainly done with antiques: overlay glassware, opaline vases and English silver.
Soon, Willy and Nicole realized that their clients were interested in buying antiques as much as they were interested in purchasing canvas and embroideries.
As a result, they gradually abandoned the ‘canvas’ business and moved into buying European antiques along with house ware and gifts.
In 1973, business was growing rapidly and they decided to open another showroom in Achrafieh, East Beirut.
Unfortunately a couple of years later, in 1975, the Lebanese civil war broke up and sales started to drop.
Another clientele emerged and in 1979 the Aractingis decided to open an extra shop in Beit Mery, a well known summer resort.
Due to the ongoing civil war, Beirut became dangerous and many people moved out from the center of Beirut and lived in more or less remote areas: Again, to follow their clients and because of their dynamism, Nicole and Willy opened in early 1985 another major shop in Kaslik, a residential area near Jounieh harbor.
Their main “Au Petit Point” shop in Justinien Street remained closed for over six years.
In 1985, their daughter June joined the family business and gradually took over the management of what has become by then a well established chain of shops.
Willy Aractingi, who was a genuine artist as well as a shrewd businessman, moved and lived in Paris in 1988 in order to fulfill his painter career. He opened a shop on rue Marbeuf in the 8ème arrondissement and named it “Justinien”.
The Paris experience was very valuable. However the company decided to focus on Lebanon and sold the Paris store by the end of 1992.
When the civil war ended in Lebanon, business started again and in 1997, the new management, including June, who by then was married to Elie Nabaa, decided to expand again and moved into a larger showroom in Achrafieh opposite the old shop.
Again in 2001, with the eruption of new malls in Lebanon, June and her mother decided to rent a booth at ABC in Dbayé. Two years later in 2003, they rented a proper showroom at the large ABC Achrafieh, and in 2009 another showroom at Beirut Souks downtown.
After a 6 years experience at the Beirut Souks downtown, we decided to finally close this point of sales end of March 2015. Our objective was to go through a new concept, the "shop in shop" experience. The result was a new showroom at the Beytech 4 stories shop in Jdeideh. Unhappily the Beytech shop closed end of 2016.
Due to the economical situation, Justinien was definitively closed in October 2019, and ABC Dbaye in June 2020.
And as we say: We are still going strong!