Hidden Gems: Kings Heath Mirrors and Lighting
One of the veterans of the High Street, Kings Heath Mirrors and Lighting has seen it all in their 38 years on Kings Heath High Street – in fact, current manager Jaz reckons every single other shop has changed in the time they’ve been around.
Jaz’s dad, Ali, grew up in Birmingham and worked a factory job for £7 per week along with one of his two brothers, which had to support a family of 13. Ali’s father founded a similar glass shop on Stratford Rd, which was taken over by Ali’s younger brother after 6 years, meaning the family has been in the glass and mirror trade for over 40 years. Ali and his wife then decided to move to Kings Heath, which was at that time busiest High Street in Birmingham, outside of the city centre. They founded Kings Heath Mirrors and Lighting and lived upstairs, and Jaz remembers the time when 4 people – himself, his parents, and an employee – would be needed on the shop floor on a Saturday in order to deal with all the customers coming through the doors to buy their wares. Due to the rise of online shopping (more for lights than mirrors, due to their fragility) the shop itself isn’t quite so busy nowadays, but that doesn’t mean Mirrors and Lighting have been left behind – far from it.
Jaz, who had founded a car-detailing business a decade ago, came back to Kings Heath Mirrors and Lighting after his dad ‘retired’ (Ali still sits behind the counter most days), refusing to let the family business be sold off. In his short time managing the business, Jaz has shifted the focus of the business to wholesale, and finding larger contracts for installing mirrors in new housing developments and gyms around the country, including the gym of Birmingham UFC star Leon Edwards. He has converted part of his own car-detailing business into a factory for producing Kings Heath Mirrors’ own mirrors and glass which means that the company can begin supplying their glass to other independent glass shops around Birmingham. Jaz isn’t rushing it, though, he knows that he needs to find the right people and move carefully to change such a long-running business. And however grand their plans might be, Kings Heath Mirrors and Lighting aren’t planning to leave their Kings Heath store and showroom any time soon.
As with many business-owners on the High Street, Jaz is concerned about the impact of the LTN and removal of parking spaces on the High Street. He believes that people don’t drive into Kings Heath as much as they used to, which is reducing business on the High Street. Mirrors and Lighting do, however, have their own car park which customers can use, and there is no doubt that Mirrors and Lighting will continue to adapt to the changing conditions of their industry and the local area and remain a staple on the High Street for many more years to come.
You can contact Kings Heath Mirrors and Lighting on 0121 443 5652 or via their website here.