The Collective is the brainchild of boyhood friends Tommy Trause and Alex Mondau. Opening in Seattle on May 10th, The Collective is a self-described “urban clubhouse for mind, body + soul." It is the culmination of their experiences in the private club world combined with their passions for authentic interactions and community building. The Collective is built around a physical space (The Basecamp), member-led “tribes” and community events.
After partnering with The Collective to help produce their inaugural Founding Member Camp Cups, we got a chance to sit down with Alex and Tommy last week and learn more about what The Collective is all about.
Where did the idea for the Collective come from?
Alex: When we both moved to Seattle in 2005, we were looking for a third place (outside of home or work), a place to just chill out that’s not a bar or a restaurant. Most private clubs only cater to the upscale businessman/woman. However we noticed an emerging, dominant force in a new consumer/creative class, people that dress like “us" - jeans and backwards hats, who wouldn’t put on a suit to go to a dinner ("maybe a wetsuit, haha!" Tommy joked). So we felt like there was an opportunity to put this membership model out in front of different folks. People that are passion driven rather than profession driven.
Can you explain the overall mission of the Collective?
Tommy: We want the Collective to bring good people together to do good things and create good energy. In order to do so we are going to measure a couple of things. One is called creative collisions; the serendipitous moment when two people come together who wouldn’t have otherwise. In turn we are going to measure peak experiences because of those creative collisions; what is the resulting good that has happened?
Alex: We wanted to build the Collective as a place where people can pursue passions and get to know each other better. With the aspiration that if we know each other better, we treat each other better, and it's a better place to live.
Are there any current social trends leading to the need for something like the Collective?
Alex: The community desert.
Tommy: We celebrate growth and development, it’s so much fun to watch Seattle grow. But it’s a double-edged sword. Not to wax too philosophically, but if you walk down the street, people are heads down looking at their phones constantly. It breeds this kind of community desert where we think people want to connect on a deeper level, they just don’t know how.
So, why did you choose Seattle? Why South Lake Union?
Tommy: PNW runs in our blood.
Alex: Because it's home.
Tommy: It’s such a blessing to have this place be home, to have it run through your blood. I think people in the northwest, more so than other places that I have lived and traveled, value that authenticity and genuineness so much. That there can’t be a facade, and this club is designed to reek of authenticity.
Can you describe the physical space?
Tommy: Authenticity starts with sense of place. In the Northwest place is defined by mountains and water. So the club has two wings, Alpenglow and Hightide.
Alpenglow pays homage to the mountains and the mountain lifestyle. Everyone has looked up at Mt. Rainier during a PNW sunset and seen that pink glow, that’s Alpenglow. In Alpenglow, space is really designed to be a place to recharge, refresh, and have a conversation. From a climbing wall to a technology-free hammock garden, campfire circle and artist-in-residence studio, every element is designed to be part collaboration/communication and part self-reflection.
Hightide is our day/night bar. Hightide is designed mostly for food and beverage, collaborative workspaces, and music. Hightide celebrates and pays tribute to the Puget Sound. From music bungalows to a really cool bar, counter service food, a full restaurant and a stage for music, Hightide is really meant to celebrate that water lifestyle.
How did you decide to partner with MiiR for your founder’s cups? What role do you think social impact plays in business?
Alex: I’ve worked in B Corps for the last 5 years and really believe that business can be used as a force for good. It is the dominant force at play in the world as we are today. So you can decide to use business to create positive change. That’s what I see at MiiR. MiiR is a kickass company and we aspire to be one too.
How can people get involved?
Alex: It starts with coming down and checking out the place, meeting with our team, talking with folks that already hang out down here. Identify an event that you are interested in and let us know that you want to come.
Any final thoughts?
Tommy: Just thank you, we keep saying this and every time I say it I think I mean it more and more. It’s just an indulgence to be able to share this. We feel so thankful that people are as excited as we are to bring the community together.
The Collective has its official grand opening on May 10th. For more information, check them out at CollectiveSeatttle.com