Katharine is the joint owner of local lifestyle stores The Dulwich Trader, Tomlinsons and ed which she has run with husband Dan Rigby since 2008.  The shops were founded by mother-in-law Penny Tomlinson with the Dulwich Trader opening its doors 35 years ago.  Katharine and Dan live in Crystal Palace with their two children and dog Digby.

How long have you lived in the area? 

I have lived in Crystal Palace for over twenty years, although I can’t quite believe that!

What brought you here?

My husband Dan is South London born and bred and this is where we met – neither of us ever considered living anywhere else.  When we met, I was working as an Occupational Psychologist with no retail ambitions but a healthy love of shopping so when Dan’s parents decided to retire and offered me the opportunity to buy the business it was too tempting to resist.  We have both been well and truly rooted in the area ever since!

What has changed most during that time? 

Crystal Palace and Dulwich have both changed a lot over the years – lots more artisan coffee and less greasy spoons – I like both so I’m happy either way!

What do you most value about the area/street you live in?

We’re very lucky where we live as we have lovely neighbours all around us.  We have street parties and now that we’re out the other side of the pandemic (and some renovations) I’m hoping to have some more neighbourly summer gatherings.

Describe your perfect weekend. 

My perfect weekend is a mix of pottering, ticking things off lists and seeing friends and family.  Most weekends revolve around the children and their various engagements but sometimes we manage to enjoy some of our own plans!

The best meal I’ve ever had.. 

I couldn’t tell you the best meal I’ve ever had as my memory just isn’t that good!  The best meal I’ve had recently was for our anniversary at the Dulwich Lyceum next to The Dulwich Trader.  I ate far too much and could barely waddle home, but it was worth it. 

Coffee or tea? Where?

I couldn’t live without tea – according to my children nothing is more important to me than a cup of tea and they do have a point.  I went off tea while I was pregnant and it was devastating!

Where’s your favourite place to walk? 

I love walking in Crystal Palace park – it’s such a unique place with the dinosaurs and Crystal Palace remains – it’s lovely to run into lots of people you know which makes London feel very small.

My perfect holiday..

My perfect holiday is very different from Dan’s!  I like spas, clean sheets, cocktails at sundown while Dan likes a soggy hill walk and campfire.      

What is your favourite shop?

I love Crystal Palace Antiques and have been a far too regular customer there for the last two decades!  Obviously, I love our shops but I can’t say that!  I think real-life shops are so important for the interaction, sense of community and the inspiration they provide – online has its place and is so useful but it’s a completely different thing.   

The last thing I bought there was a gorgeous elm stool to hold my tea for me while I’m busy scrolling through Pinterest on the sofa!

My secret ambition..is to win the lottery without ever buying a ticket.