Give the gift small icon
Give the gift big icon
Give the gift
of Artifcts

The perfect gift for the person
in your life who has everything.

Give a gift Close

The Making of Lantern in Just 5 Artifcts

February 15, 2023

Artifcts contextualize our lives. The most random of objects can pack in a story to challenge Tolstoy. Normally you probably create and receive, or even view in our public collection, Artifcts from people’s everyday lives – mementos, furnishings, jewelry, collections, letters and photos, and more. Today, we have a special treat – the Artifcts that provide the color to the making not of a single life but of a company: Lantern. 

This female founded, venture capital-backed platform exists for these simple truths: death is hard on the living who are left behind, it inspires anxiety and confusion for all, and it leaves so many to wonder how to afford it and whether they’ve done justice to their loved one’s wishes in the end.

It just should not be that hard. 

That is why Liz Eddy and Alyssa Ruderman decided back in 2018 to take on the problem through the creation of Lantern, a public benefit corporation that can assist you at any stage of life to pre-plan for the inevitable as well as walk you through the steps of the after-loss process. 



Before diving into the five Artifcts that Liz chose to share about the life of Lantern, it’s worth pointing out that this was not her first foray into entrepreneurship or the fields of grief and trauma. 

At the age of 15, young Liz, along with two friends with whom she’s still close today, started her first company: Sisters on the Runway. With a curriculum, fundraising toolkit, and other resources behind it, the company provides high school and university students nationwide with the foundation for addressing domestic abuse in their communities. Just think: This company student-led organization has now been running for more than half of Liz’s lifetime!

Artifct #1: The Inception of Lantern

A Photo of My Grandmother

It was the passing of Liz’s grandmother, and the glaring holes she experienced in the post loss process, particularly the legal and financial logistics, that inspired Lantern. If that were not enough, Liz’s grandmother was an entrepreneur herself, dropping out of high school to become a fashion designer and build her company from the ground up, keeping at it until she was in her 90s! “She was powerful,” said Liz. “She didn’t believe in retirement, saying you could slow down but not stop. And never being afraid of starting something new!” 

Photo of Liz Eddy's grandmother
Photo of Liz's grandparents on their wedding day. 

Artifct #2: Securing Financial Support 

Kite + String Tattoo

Liz and Alyssa each got a tattoo of a kite because they call each other "Kite + String." If Liz is the "big picture, head in the clouds, headfirst into business" kind of partner, it’s Alyssa who is the "thoughtful, stable, grounded" partner. One cannot exist without the other. The co-founders got these small, meaningful tattoos after officially getting Lantern off the ground and with venture capital financial backing. It is a forever reminder to them of how far they've come, how much they can still do, and the unbreakable bond they share. 

Kite + String tattoos

Artifct #3: The Building of the Brand

Lantern Illustration by Liza Rusalskaya

A brand can use many means to convey its ethos and mission. All of the site illustrations sprinkled throughout are done by illustrators from around the work in memory of those who they have lost. This illustration is featured on the welcome page of the site and was among many they received while first developing their site. It depicts a powerful combination of beauty and sadness, so much of what we experience in loss.  Visitors often tell the founders that they connect deeply with the illustrations.

Lantern Illustration by Liza Rusalskaya.

Artifct #4: Tailwinds from the Sunday New York Times

Lantern Takes Front Page of SundayBusiness

Not all surprises in business are great. And despite what they say, not all press is good press. But when you stroll out one morning from your uncle’s where you are visiting to grab breakfast and a copy of the Sunday NY Times to search excitedly for the tiniest thumbnail mention of your company and are greeted instead with … the front page of the NY Times SundayBusiness section, you’re in the 7th heaven zone of business. 

Catching sight of the skull and cross bones with flower, Liz thought, “It can’t be!” But it was. It was a MASSIVE life moment for the Lantern team and company. The piece not only put death front and center, but Lantern’s approach to working with other companies in the space to fill all the critical gaps in end of life and loss. Collaboration instead of competition is in part why Lantern is a public benefit corporation after all!

Sunday New York Times article featuring Lantern. 

Artifct #5: No Company is One Person (or Two Cofounders)

A Note from an Employee

It’s one thing if you happen to bump into a former employee and they greet you warmly or even make a point to bustle across a crowded room to say hello. It’s another thing altogether in the craziness of the holidays to sit down and write out a personal note of appreciation and support. This Artifct is about the importance of a happy, caring, supported team to a thriving company. Without, “You rot from the inside,” said Liz. “You can’t move so fast that you lose sight of that.” 

Note from one of Lantern's employees. 


To learn more about Lantern, visit We also highly recommend viewing the video about the making of Lantern. A favorite quote of ours from the video, because we can directly relate: “You have to be irrationally obsessed with what you’re doing to accomplish something, … to help you ride through the highs, lows, and challenges.”

© 2023 Artifcts, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Share With Friends
What's New at Artifcts
Calling All Family History Buffs!

Love family history? Love bonding over family lore, stories, and other funny quips, quotes, and oh-so memorable moments? You’re in good company with us here at Artifcts! 

What we’ve discovered over the past two years is that family history may sometimes be fickler than we think. It’s easy to lull ourselves into believing that Grandma’s always going to be here to make her famous biscuits. Grandpa’s always going to be here to tell us the story of his steel pennies. But we know this is not true. 

Although we have yet to find a way to stop (or even stall!) time, we have discovered we can capture those moments, stories, and histories straight from the source. Thousands of photos and documents locked in your hard drive, or difficult or expensive software, will not do justice to your family history. You know the dots you want to connect, so start connecting them where you can easily share them with others with more permanence than memories alone allow! 

We’ve put together tips to make sure your family history will be remembered. 

  1. No need to reinvent the wheel. Use the photos and videos you already have and attach the documentation that is already lurking in your digital or physical file cabinets. Founder’s tip: Add a link to digital files in the ‘Location’ field if you have a digital folder with other related items. 
  2. Sharing is caring. Remember to share privately or publicly with your family (cousins included!) or other interested parties. Create a circle, invite your family into it, and you can all swap Artifcts like a big group chat! 
  3. Ask others to contribute. If you don’t know all the details, ask other family members (who have paid Artifcts memberships) to help fill in the blanks by giving them 'Edit’ access when you share. Our co-founder Heather recently asked her aunts for help in trying to track down the details of this old photo.  
  4. Families love using (name) tags. Tag your Artifcts with a family last name, first name, or initials to capture pieces of family history that are easily searchable, findable, and shareable. Got a big family? Encourage others to use the same tags, such as #GrandmaDot or #NickersonFamily2023, to build the family's Artifcts collection. 
  5. Include citation links. Are you the family keeper or the family genealogist? Include citation links to your research or even family tree details in the ‘Description;' as you would elsewhere, leave out details of living family members if you intend to broadly share or make the Artifct public. 

Ready for More? 

Curious how others are Artifcting their family histories?  

Check out our Family History Month Your Way piece for additional tips and tricks, along with our Gift Your Loved Ones a Why for an important reminder of why all that history is so important.  

If you especially love history and want to see some unique Artifcts, check out the Nickerson Family Association’s Artifcts collection. They’ve Artifcted pieces of their family history from the 1660s! You never know what you’ll discover.  

Happy (Family History) Artifcting! 


© 2023 Artifcts, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Read more
Using the Artifcts App to Create Artifcts

“ANY of my photos I took on my phone?”
“Can you help with all these voice messages? Are they ‘stuff?’”   
“Oh, I can do that walking around my house! My son thinks it’s all junk.”  
“I have a three-hour layover in Denver. I’ll start Artifcting then!”  
{What will you say?} 


We took notes as our newest Artifcts Community members tried out our app last week at the RootsTech conference in Salt Lake City. We must have chatted with more than 500 people who stopped by our booth. Some were conference attendees. Others are themselves respected builders of the premiere brands in genealogy services today. The awe factor of our modest app centered around how much you could do with a single, easy to use application. We’re declaring that a win! 
On Monday we offered a free webinar to walk through some of the ins and outs of creating an Artifct from the Artifcts app.  You can watch the recording, blooper moments and all, on our YouTube channel ->  


Your Turn! Try a Few of the Artifcts App Features

The more feedback from all of you, the better and better the app will be. Download the app to your iOS or Android device, give it a try, and write to us at We review every message! 
Use what you’ve got!  

On your phone, that is. Go for it, scroll 1000s of photos back in your gallery to that ONE photo you’re thinking of. Or pop into your voicemail and rescue that message you’ve saved for months or even years.  

      1. Open the voice message. 
      2. Click the share icon 
      3. Choose the Artifcts app! 


Select a voice message on your mobile phone        Click to share the voice message       Choose to add the voice message to a new or existing Artifct

Images are from an iOS phone. Android will have slight differences. 

Start fresh. Work with the latest. 
From the Artifcts app, click '+ Artifct.'  

How to create a new Artifct on the app 

Now choose to take a new photo, use an existing photo, video, or audio file, and off you go! Remember, you can choose up to five media files per Artifct and rearrange them to flow with your story. 
Mobile Style

You can always share an Artifct with someone based on their Artifcts screen name or email address. You can even post public Artifcts to social media. But did you know that the Artifcts app offers a special sharing option? 

      1. Click the share icon on your Artifct.
      2. Choose ‘Share link’ to send the Artifct via text message. You don’t even have to enter the email, phone number, or know if they are already an Artifcts member. Simply type to find the contact on your phone and send the Artifct in a text. 
      3. If the Artifct is private, and you haven’t already given the person permission, they will be able to “request access” when they click to view the Artifct link you sent them. Don’t' worry, they will be encouraged to sign in (or create a free Artifcts account) first to see if they already have access.

Bonus! If you have notifications for the Artifcts app enabled on your mobile device, you’ll learn instantly when they request access. 

When you supect real market value or historical relevance

You can find out if your treasures are authentic and potentially valuable!

      1. Click to view one of your Artifcts
      2. Scroll to the end of the Artifct and click "What's it worth?" to ask Heritage Auctions.
      3. After expert review, Heritage Auctions will attach directly to your Artifct a free valuation within two to three weeks. Be sure to provide helpful details. We offer tips in our FAQs for valuations.  

Happy Artifcting!


© 2023 Artifcts, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Read more
The Artifcts Bookshelf: Books About or Related to 'Stuff'

Here you'll find a simple listing of a wide-ranging and growing collection of books, with 'stuff' as the unify theme. Now and then we may post a link to an online article, podcast, or similar, but given how impermanent those links can be and the frustration paywalls can present, we'll mostly stick to books.

We use tags to organize them for your quick scanning. Click any image below to review the book over on the author’s site, Amazon, or elsewhere.

What are you reading? Share with and we'll check it out.

(Please note: These books are literally on our nightstands, coffee tables, and bookshelves. We are not paid to list publications here.)


The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance

By Edmund de Waal, Jan. 2010


The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

By V. E. Schwab, Oct. 2021


Uncommon Type

By Tom Hanks, Sep. 2018


What to Do with Everything You Own to Leave the Legacy You Want

By Marni Jameson, Jun. 2021


108 Beloved Objects: Letting Go of Stuff, Keeping Our Stories

By Jeff Greenwald, Aug. 2021


The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning

By Margareta Magnusson, Jan. 2018


The Dig

By John Preston, Apr. 2016


goodbye, things: The New Japanese Minimalism

By Fumio Sasaki, Apr. 2017


Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness

By Ingrid Fetell Lee, Sep. 2018


Keep the Memories, Lose the Stuff: Declutter, Downsize, and Move Forward with Your Life

By Matt Paxton, Feb. 2022


Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things

By Gail Steketee, Jan. 2011


Book Cover of The Book of Form and Emptiness

The Book of Form and Emptiness

By Ruth Ozeki, Jun. 2022


Book Cover of What We Keep

What We Keep: 150 People Share the One Object that Brings Them Joy, Magic, and Meaning

By Bill Shapiro & Naomi Wax, Sept. 2018


Book Cover of Taste

Taste: My Life Through Food

By Stanley Tucci, Oct. 2021


Read more
Your privacy

This website uses only essential cookies to provide reliable and secure services, streamline your experience, allow you to share content from this website on social media, and to analyze how our Site is used. Learn more about these cookies and cookie settings.

Accept & Continue
Oops! This Web Browser Version is Unsupported

You received this warning because you are using an unsupported browser. Some features of Artifcts will not be available or will be displayed improperly until you update to the latest version or change browsers.

Image for unsupported banner Oops! This Web Browser is Unsupported

You received this warning because you are using an unsupported browser. Some features of Artifcts will not be available or will be displayed improperly until you update to the latest version or change browsers.

Unsupported banner close icon Close