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Exclusive articles, interviews, and insights covering downsizing & decluttering, genealogy, photos and other media, aging well, travel, and more. We’re here to help you capture the big little moments and stories to bring meaning and even order to all of life’s collections for generations.
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What’s In a (Brand) Name?

I went from a “company” everyone knew by its initials alone, “CIA,” to a made-up composite word people loved to pronounce with a French twist, “Knoema,” to one that is spelled informally without the second a, “Artifcts.”

You may wonder, perhaps with a hint of exasperation, why, oh, why do companies deliberately misspell their names?

Trends in naming come and go. For a while you saw 'x' replacing letters, like Spanx. You’ve also seen the small first letter theme, like eBay or iTunes, matching the brand name with its means of distribution, as in e-electronic or i-Internet 

You likely know many companies that have opted, like Artifcts, to exclude or replace vowels, e.g., Flickr, Lyft, Tumblr, Sweepr, and Swype. Even conferences have gotten in on the game; THRIV and HLTH come to mind.

We asked Maureen Longoria, Co-founder and CEO of LivNow Relocation, another startup from the AARP AgeTech Collaborative, about her brand’s missing vowel. “That’s kind of a funny story. We started out as Live Now Relocation. We soon realized people were calling us ‘LIVE’ like ‘a live concert’ rather than ‘LIVE’ like ‘I’m living my best life'. We dropped the ‘e’ and combined the words to become LivNow, because we want to help people live their best lives by helping them get to a senior living community.” 

There are a myriad of other reasons for unconventional spellings, too, including: 

      • Appeal and intrigue to the curious, playful, imaginative, and young/young-at-heart 
      • Securing and enforcing a trademark 
      • Reinforcing the brand, and this is where Artifcts especially shines. 

The Missing ‘A’ of Artifcts 

Choosing the name Artifcts was an intentional element of our strategy back in the winter of 2020/2021 to reinforce our brand feel and purpose, serving as the lighthouse for all we do: artifacts (aka ‘stuff’). 

We like to say we are redefining 'artifacts' one painting, monkey in a barrel, and whiskey glass at a time. Artifcts you create do not need to be valuable, historically relevant, part of a collection, or family heirlooms. An Artifct is anything that has meaning to you

Artifcts also rolls off the tongue when verb-ified, helping us to emphasize this is not just a product, it’s a way of life. We are Artifcting daily. It’s in our hearts, homes, and habits. Artifcts make our lives richer, more connected-more meaningful, and set ourselves up for less-burdened futures. 

Unique Brand Names Can Also Be Uniquely Problematic 

We went in eyes wide open to the challenges our brand name would create, although we admittedly thought we could tackle them a bit faster than has proven viable. Chief among those is the disregard of Google for startups and anything outside the norm, including brand names.

Simply stated, Google hates us.

Google insists on autocorrecting the spelling of our name. And this need not be the case! Crunchbase plays nicely; you can easily look us up there. Someday, when everyone knows and loves us already, Google will rethink its anti-startup ways.

Until then we have no choice but to bid on Google Ad Words for our own trademarked brand name or rely on people clicking, “Search instead for Artifcts.” I do this anyway, every day, all day for my searches for other companies, people, and more, so it’s second nature to me. But not all people are so vigilant. Why can’t Google learn faster?!

Google autocorrects Artifcts to Artifacts

We humans naturally, mentally autocorrect.

Without a second thought, our brains fill in the rejected 'a.' Thinking 'Artifacts' still grounds you to our core concept of ‘stuff,’ but it can also mean that you suddenly find yourself thinking, “Wait, what letter was missing?”

We know the feeling.

And we’re leaning in to celebrate our rejected ‘a’ and help anyone who maybe can’t remember. Enjoy this playful surprise from all of us at Artifcts, A-r-t-i-f-c-t-s. 

                    Artifacts becomes Artifcts with animation to pop out the extra a


© 2023 Artifcts, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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If Books Could Talk, What Would Yours Say About You?

Before you say, “Books can talk. Just get the audio version,” that’s not what we mean. We’re talking about the meaning of each book to you.  

Artifcts co-founder Ellen Goodwin found herself staring up at all her books on the wall and mulling over an article she'd read about decluttering that perplexed and offended her. Are books really trophies of a sort, signifying pride in having traveled through the paper universes held by our shelves? That was what the blog’s author suggested. Clearly this is not how Artifcts co-founder Heather Nickerson feels, since books were a whole category of objects she wishes her mother could have Artifcted.

Are books really trophies of a sort, signifying pride in having traveled through the paper universes held by our shelves?

Arguably, if this Gallup poll from December 2021 is correct, and people are reading their way through fewer books, maybe we are buying them just for show. But couldn't it also be a sign we're aspiring to read more? Certainly, in the old days, personal libraries were more commonly curated as symbols of wealth and knowledge, worldliness, too. Most people could barely afford one book in the original days of the printing press when each run was small, leather binding and embossed impressions expensive, and hand illustrations an art and a luxury.

Today books are cheap to produce, even making self-publishing an obtainable reality for many. Few books in and of themselves are likely valuable, unless you’re a bibliophile and rare books and unique signed copies are your passion. If you add up every book in your collection then, sure, they were expensive, but reselling through secondhand bookstores will get you only pennies on the dollar. 

Maybe then our bookshelves today send different and more practical messages. What do your books say about you or to you?   

The next time you dust off your shelves or undertake a bit of reorganization—rainbow order, by genre then author, alphabetical by title, or some other schema—or maybe find a way to fit in "just one more," take a fresh look at your collection. Pick one book to Artifct because it holds special significance through the scenes it sets, the messages imparted, the journeys undertaken, or maybe something more personal, like the “who” that gave it to you. Share the Artifct with the world—we've shared a few, tagged #realbooksarebest—or a friend to inspire their next read and learn a bit more about you!

Happy Artifcting!


© 2023 Artifcts, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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What Should You Artifct (Now)?

Even the most ardent Artifcts supporters struggle sometimes to get started. And then they do start and suddenly they are late for meetings because they are enjoying the experience.

If you find yourself stuck, or maybe you think you don’t even have much to Artifct, see if any of these experiences from around the Arti Community get your wheels turning.

No Idea Where to Start.  

One of Artifcts’ own advisory board members confessed, “I joined Artifcts because what you’ve built is amazing. It will change relationships and relationships to ‘stuff’ forever, but I was slow to start Artifcting. I just kept over thinking it! I wanted to start with the most meaningful items to me, but that was delaying me. So, I turned around at my desk and I Artifcted the first interesting thing I saw. It was a dried flower my daughter had picked for me outside her preschool. She’s thoughtful like that – it’s so her. That’s all it took to get going.”

grid of Artifcts from egoody

Well, Artifcts co-founder Ellen Goodwin has about as eclectic an Artifcts collection as it gets. Her recent Artifcts include a Mother's Day card, a rock from Tucson, a Taylor Swift concert, DAR insignia, furniture and more!

I Needed to Artifct the Most Valuable, Quickly. 

One woman shared, “At first, I went collection by collection and just added a few words about each item so I knew my most valuable possessions were safe in Artifcts. Now I’m going back through my Artifcts to add the stories. I want to be able to say these things, have them here. I’ve also started adding audio and video to some, too.” The "Alberto Lagos Print" Artifct captures the provenance of an item in a big way. Check it out ->

My Adult Daughter Inspires My Artifcting.

A gentleman wrote that his daughter is his Artifcting inspiration. “She Artifcts a lot at night and when I wake up, I have new Artifcts she’s shared with me waiting. They give me ideas about other things I want to Artifct."

Black outline of a bell with a coral colored dot Look for the alarm bell on and the Artifcts mobile app for your newest alerts!

He continued, "This morning my daughter’s Artifct about a purse she bought in Paris reminded me to Artifct my wallet. I bought it in a market in Brazil years ago during a work trip that my wife accompanied me on. She drove me crazy trying to pick the best one. I think of her every time I grab it. I don’t think I’ll ever finish Artifcting. It’s more like a way of life now.” His story reminded us of our #HabitChange story in ARTIcles ->

I don’t think I’ll ever finish Artifcting. It’s more like a way of life now.

It Usually Starts with a Story I Tell.

“Sometimes I catch myself telling a funny or very personal story, and realize in that moment, I really need to Artifct it. I’ll add or take a photo to go with it; other times I record a quick voice memo of myself telling the story. I think my family will really appreciate it one day.”

lightbulb Arti Tip! Use a tag like #LifeStories, #EarliestMemory, #LessonLearned, and #BestTallTales to help quickly find all the stories of yours you love best. Just click the tag to sort your Artifcts!

Don’t Judge: I Made an Outline.

At an Arti Workshop last month, one woman told us that in preparation for starting to Artifct, she made an outline. We were intrigued. “I wanted to capture objects from my personal and work lives, my childhood and adulthood, each of my hobbies (stained glassed, travel, and reading), and about key relationships. I’m working on each of those one at a time. I got the idea from an Artifcts post that talked about going room by room. I just used different life-based groupings!” 

Example checklist from Artifcts

If you like outlines and lists, you might like our inspirational checklists you can download.

It Was Bulk Trash Day.

Sometimes the act of giving or throwing stuff away is your ultimate motivator. “I dragged this old trunk to the curb that first I had used for sleepaway camp and then my son, too. And I looked at it and realized I needed to Artifct it! It held so many memories. I couldn’t let it go completely.” 

Black travel trunk sitting on cement curb

Sometimes our stuff outlasts the memories. But with Artifcts, you can let go of the stuff and hold onto the memories!

What will you Artifct first? Next? Share with us at; we’d love to feature your own stories!

Happy Artifcting!


Artifcting Starter Resources 

We have all sorts of helpful resources that we want to be sure you know about to take the pressure off and let the fun begin: 

Inspiration Checklists

Videos on YouTube

Artifcting Quick Tips


© 2023 Artifcts, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Top 5 Vintage Shops in the World

Reading time: 3 minutes 
Ready for the list? This is from real world experience, based on 1000s of conversations with people just like you.

      1. Your closet 
      2. Your workshop 
      3. Your craft room 
      4. Your attic 
      5. Your storage unit

Maybe not in that order.  And maybe replace "your" with Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, or Neighbor Alice.

You surely have read the headlines that convey “No one wants your stuff," and yet we know, nostalgia and vintage are all the rage and antiquing a constant. Just because your family may not want large pieces of furniture or a complete set of non-dishwasher safe china, it does not mean they care any less about you, your stories, and specific mementos from your home. 

Your home is truly the best vintage shop in the world. 

Let your children and grandchildren into your closet.

If not them, your “people,” whoever they are! We guarantee that the items they choose they will also keep and use more than any of the stuff you may assume they should have or will want. This is especially true if they know the stories behind the objects.

--> That was the blanket you bought in Peru on your first solo trip abroad.

--> These are vintage t-shirts your grandpa sent to you from his collection.

--> And  that  is a painting of the first car of the first train your great grandfather ran on his railroad.

three folded vintage t-shirts side by side

Sometimes items lurk in our drawers, bins, and closets simply because they give us reassurance just by being there. But imagine setting them free to be enjoyed. You can even set your own return policy or date if it will make you feel better! And you can always see them anytime here on Artifcts if you capture them first!

"Exactly! I’m bound by a return policy. I asked my parents about a music box that I have always loved and was just collecting dust in an upstairs closet. They agreed I could take it under one condition: At any time they might ask me to bring it back. Deal!" recalled Artifcts co-founder Ellen Goodwin. "I'm still working on getting them to let me borrow a couple of old photos, too."

black and white photo of two men in suits on old bikes

A photo that provokes more questions than enjoyment right now. View Artifct ->


© 2023 Artifcts, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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A Story About a Typewriter

Sure, it is made of steel, but you carry anything as light as 10 lbs. around the world as a reporter, author, or even war-time journalist, and it's prone to anything from minor scratches to irreparable damage. That's what makes finding typewriters like this one in great condition so challenging 100 years later. 

It might be strange to call a typewriter beautiful, but if a car of steel can be beautiful, why not a typewriter?

Mark Twain called typewriters “curiosity-breeding little jokers”—his correspondents were so curious as to be distracted by the fact he had and used a typewriter (learn more in this story from Heritage Auctions)—but my typewriter is petite, totally functional, and emblematic of artistically inspired ingenuity fit to purpose. And isn't it funny that one of its taglines back in the twenties was "personal writing machine?" And what would they say now about modern mobile phones? Or ChatGPT for that matter? 

I bought and wrapped this gift for myself as a congratulations for the creation of Artifcts. I waited to buy until I hit that moment when I knew we were on the doorstep. The moment arrived... a corona for a crowning moment. 

Now I can enjoy two clicks I love: that sound of clipping into my peddles on a road bike and the tapping of the corona’s keys.

What antiques take up positions of pride in your home? Artifct and share today, National Cherish an Antique Day.

Happy Artifcting! 


BONUS! For all of you typewriter enthusiasts 

I know you covet the details about the typewriters, like the machine’s serial codes. I can confirm my serial number and carriage number do not match.

I purchased my typewriter from the most amazing, knowledgeable, and gracious shop on Etsy @Findstein who even pointed me to print and online resources so that I could learn about and maintain my Corona, including purchasing a new 1/2˝ universal ink ribbon 300 hundred pages or so from now, which has to be re-spun by hand. Here are the references, if you’re in the market: 


© 2023 Artifcts, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Using ChatGPT for Stories and Memories

We want to acknowledge the elephant in the room: ChatGPT. Created by a company called OpenAI, it’s only been publicly available for a few months and is an unavoidable topic. You might think it’s not for you, you’ll ignore the bold headlines, go on with life. Or you might have this nagging feeling that you’re missing out on something. 

Here at Artifcts, we’re excited about the promise the constant evolution of Artificial Intelligence, this time in the form of ChatGPT, holds for us all. SPOILER ALERT: We won’t be introducing it, even in a playful experimental version, at Artifcts yet for you to capture your stories and memories. Here’s why. 


Let’s imagine your grandfather was, gasp, imperfectly perfect. He served his country during WWII, was a dedicated civil service employee after the war, and fiercely protective of his family of four. And yet … he told rude jokes, harbored controversial views, and was blustery in his judgements he shared with no filter. 

Now imagine you have a piece of his military uniform you want to Artifct. You tell ChatGPT that you were at your grandfather’s house, cleaning it out as he downsized, and he gave you the hat. 

ChatGPT nearly instantly can give you a story, “With tears in his eyes, my grandpa placed the hat in my hands…” Hold on! TEARS in his eyes? Um, nope, not my grandpa. With a whole story written like this, I know I’m better off starting over. No machine knows his personality. No machine knows the words he said to me. No machine knows how I feel when I’m with him, the smells that remind me of him, the events of that day together that precipitated him giving me the hat. 

This sort of output from ChatGPT is what one person interviewed by 60 Minutes in a segment, “Who is minding the chatbots?” called authoritative bull****: “[ChatGPT] blends the truth and falsities so finely together that unless you are a real expert, you do not know.” It’s a pathway to your own personal alternative histories. Much like reading historical fiction, it takes a cautious reader to parse out the fact and the fiction. Watch the interview on 60 Minutes

We need to take ChatGPT’s stated limitations seriously and play with it to experience those limitations for ourselves. 

List of limitations from ChatGPT Open AI website


ChatGPT could also respond to this same scenario with a more straightforward, leaning toward prescriptive output. Here’s an example based on this scenario: 

Description automatically generated by ChatGPT about Grandpa


That’s better in some ways. Still might be offbeat for how I view ‘stuff,’ but at least we’ve ditched the tears. The bottom line is that you simply can't outsource your memories and stories in general, nevermind, to AI.

Where to for ChatGPT and Artifcts? 

One area where ChatGPT could, as is, apply to the Artifcts our Arti Community Members are creating is in the factual elements some people include in their Artifcts. The history of an artist, a designer, a manufacturer. The history of a world or community event. If you want to share who H. Stern was in life within your Artifct, ChatGPT can help.  

Of course, since ChatGPT requires a personal login, and will remember and learn from what you type into it, you can also easily build its knowledge of your life to the point where it will remember where you were on the date you received that present from your mom. Items you own and should probably Artifct. It could remember stories you shared about people in your life. Emails you exchanged, videos you posted, searches you made; so much data for a tool like ChatGPT. So, yes, it might someday know that Grandpa was a grumpy old man late in life and recast stories for you in that light to rapidly create Artifcts with fairly accurate descriptive details, but at what cost? 

The privacy risks are not yet fully understood. And that’s a difficult compromise to make when in an Artifct, you need only add a few words to capture the essence of why you have or keep an object in your life. 

For now, because we value and place great importance on your story, one that often is deeply personal, we cannot rely on a technology that has proven to have its challenges to be your source of truth. We’ll be watching and waiting, maybe even playing still behind the scenes, to understand ChatGPT’s potential for Artifcts along with its potential risks. 


What's your experience with ChatGPT? What are you hopes for what it will offer the world? We'd love to hear from you at


© 2023 Artifcts, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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