Folk Stories

19: Hospitality and Community with Alex Mondau

September 27th, 2019 (68 minutes)

Alex Mondau is the Community Ambassador at the Collective. The collective is a co-working space located in Seattle's South Lake Union, and is described by its founders as an urban basecamp for the mind, body + soul. Alex started The Collective Seattle one and a half years ago with business partners Tommy Trause and Scott Barber in order to create a diverse community where people can build genuine relationships as well as find refuge from life outside the walls.

Prior to founding The Collective, some of Alex's former roles included selling sustainable real estate and working tables at the Agua Verde Cafe. As a kid, Alex wanted to be an adventurer and spent time in the mountains of Nepal trying to be a mountain guide in the Himalaya.

In today's episode, we talk about hospitality and its tight feedback loops, we talk about The Collective and its origins, and we talk about community and ways of fostering it.


I fell in love with hospitality industry. You could succeed or fail every five minutes…for hours in a row and your feedback loop was so tight that you really get to know whether you were meeting that customer's expectations.

– Alex Mondau


  • childhood growing up in Olympia and wanting to be an adventurer
  • selling sustainable housing and green real estate
  • feedback and the hospitality industry
  • The Collective Seattle and its origin
  • building community at The Collective Seattle
  • lessons and challenges of community building
  • next steps for The Collective Seattle


  • inspiration
    • spontaneously going paddle boating at night to appreciate nature
  • surprising fact
    • good plumber
  • principle
    • look for opportunities to be generous
  • closing notes
    • recognize Native American tribes and communities that stewarded this place
    • figure out to be good stewards of this place
  • Agua Verde: Don’t miss out on the new Rockfish Tacos with Mango salsa and the Carnitas now served on house made tortillas
  • The Collective: An urban basecamp for the mind, body and soul
  • wework: Starbucks of co-working spaces