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No one goes under.

"Have you ever felt like nobody was there?"
- Found, Dear Evan Hansen

When you're killing it, or when you're drowning…do you have people who can listen, understand, and support you? If your answer is no, you’re not the only one. 

We’re working to change that.

Our bar for good community:

• A safe place for the belonging we crave 

• A support system where all are included 

• A space where we can just be

• A way to tap into collective wisdom

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Women smiling and waving sheer fabric towards the sky

Our Values

We are safe.

We listen and believe.

We include.

We are real.

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Meet the Founders

Founders
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Kayla Izard

Kayla is a Phoenix native, born and raised. Homeschooled, Kayla spent her childhood singing, dancing, acting, pretending, creating, and playing piano. After graduating with her BA in Communications, Kayla cut her teeth in the business world working as a brand strategist for an agency. Including Andy’s first business, Kayla has helped to launch numerous brands, businesses, and non-profits…this project being her turn at the wheel. Kayla married Andy in 2013, and her greatest dream – from the beginning – has been to work with him by her side. He’s her favorite person. Eight years later…here they are.

Kayla is an expert storyteller and vibe master. She works to create spaces where everyone can feel loved and celebrated for who they are. With a deep love for people, animals, and our planet, she’s always nerding out about a better society and justice in the world. But her greatest life’s work is her son Sammy.

Kayla’s Two Cents

  • 2 Favorite movies: Princess Diaries and Greatest Showman

  • 2 Turnoffs: Uncaring, Manipulative

  • 2 Life values: Love and Leadership

  • 2 Nicknames: The Queen, Special K

Kayla Izard, The Raft Project Founder
Birthday girl Kayla Izard, 8 years old with french toast and candles.
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Andy Izard, The Raft Project founder
11 year old Andy Izard, dressed as a pirate with a towel, an eyepatch, and a large nosering
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Andy Izard

Also a Phoenix native, as a baby Andy was always connecting with strangers…even from his stroller. You’d almost think he's always had “I care about you” written across his forehead. Growing up, Andy did everything: sailing, scuba diving, flying, climbing trees, riding motorcycles, target shooting, and playing sports. He still loves to be outside – surrounded by pine needles. Andy is one of the safest people in the world for the gritty stuff. The shit that makes other people laugh uncomfortably and change the subject. Probably because in his teens and early 20s, Andy struggled with depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and addiction. He understands not being ok. That’s one of the reasons he got his BA in Psychology.

In the many jobs Andy has worked, from security to sales to business ownership, his goal has been helping people feel seen, heard, and safe. And no one more than his wife Kayla and son Sammy. His greatest loves.

Andy’s Two Cents

  • 2 Favorite authors: Brenè Brown, Jocko Willink

  • 2 Favorite TV shows: This Is Us, The Office

  • 2 Life values: Integrity, Authenticity

  • 2 Biggest fears: Losing his family, Early death

How The Raft Project got started...

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The Raft Project started with entrepreneurs. In 2017 we (Andy and Kayla) opened our window cleaning business…soon to find out that: Wow. Owning a business is hard. It is painfully vulnerable, extremely high stakes, and very lonely. There’s also few places to be honest about it. And we weren’t the only people feeling this way. So, we called together a group of our entrepreneur friends and got to work.

Early entrepreneurship support group meetings
Two entrepreneurs laughing together.

Over the next year, we developed a framework for connection that could work every. single. time. And it was like lightning in a bottle. People would come to a meeting as strangers and leave as besties. We solved so many problems in those three years and kept each other going. Then, the pandemic hit. Our son was born prematurely, and Andy had to get a W2 job and close the business. It was time to stop. 

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But early 2022, Kayla had a vision: what if we could keep the framework, but make it an inclusive community? Because it’s not just entrepreneurs that have hopes, obstacles, insecurities, and celebrations. It’s all of us. That’s life. So here we are. We’re so excited you’re here.

 

We’re planning on changing the world.

Kick it with us on Instagram!

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We'd love to be your community.

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