Katharine Spence owns Wigwam toy shop on Rosendale Road in West Dulwich, which has recently celebrated five years since opening its doors. She lives in West Dulwich with her husband and three children.

How long have you lived in the area?

I have lived in Dulwich my whole life.  I was born in Dulwich Village and currently live in West Dulwich.

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

There is a real sense of community around where I live in West Dulwich. I love walking from my house up to Wigwam and bumping into lots of people I know, many of whom come into the shop for a chat.

Where will you find me on a Saturday?

First thing on a Saturday I’ll be watching my son play football for Dulwich Village.  Then I will be back at Wigwam wrapping presents for children going to parties. I always enjoy seeing what they choose for their friends.

Cafe, Pub or bar?

Cafe. I love a good cosy cafe to sit and have a piece of cake, especially now autumn has arrived.  Although, had you asked me this in summer, I’d probably have said a Pimms in the pub garden.

Coffee or Tea? Where?

Tea! I love tea! Usually with my sister although she tells me I drink far too much of it.

Where’s your favourite place to walk?

My favourite place to walk is Dulwich Woods. I spent my childhood exploring those woods and now I enjoy taking my children there.

When I relax…

Running a shop and having three children, I find it hard to relax and switch off.  But when I try to, I find a stroll around Belair Park or Dulwich Park on a sunny day works wonders.

If money was no object

I would love to take my family on a safari holiday. I went to South Africa with my school netball team and I would love to go back to explore the rest of Africa.

My Perfect Holiday…

Involves the sea. I love endless summer days swimming in the sea with my kids, followed by good food and wine on the beach. A current favourite holiday destination of ours is North Norfolk.

Describe your perfect weekend

I’m very lucky to live near to my mum and sister, so it would involve going for a walk with the entire family and ending up in The Rosendale pub for one of their delicious roasts.

Do you know your neighbours?

I do! Thankfully my neighbours are lovely.  We are fortunate to have a good community in West Dulwich, which is why I love being part of it through my shop, my kids’ schools and my involvement in Love West Dulwich.

Wigwam Toy Shop
109 Rosendale Road, West Dulwich
020 8676 4815


This article first appeared in the November 2018 issue of SE21 magazine.