Recently, Wellphora founder Matt Russell was interviewed by EG Publishing for their “Get to Know the Owner” feature. Here’s a little about Matt:

Hi, my name is Matt Russell. I am the founder and owner of Novas Labs, LLC. We produce and manufacture Wellphora, the well-known, high-quality CBD products that you find at your local farmers markets, retail outlets and at I’m excited to share a bit of myself with our community – happy reading!

A typical day in my life includes: awakening to my teen boys playing piano or guitar at 6:00 am before they head off to school. I split my time between two careers; I’m either heading into the Fire Station for my 48-hour shift or into to the lab to formulate CBD products and/or meet with our wholesale clients. Nights are equally hectic shuttling kids (some of whom don’t even belong to us) to their after-school activities. Weekends are filled with juggling three calendars of kids’ events.

My favorite thing about living and working in the North Valley: The people. I was born and raised in Glendale/Peoria and always run into friends I’ve made through the years no matter where we go.

When I was younger, I dreamed of being: A Firefighter. I was able to fulfill that dream and have spent the last 21+ years serving and protecting the citizens in and around the City of Peoria. As with others who have physically demanding occupations, injuries have led me to begin shortening my Fire Department career and begin reinventing myself professionally. I have been able to leverage my knowledge and background of 24 years as an emergency medical provider, Toxicology Paramedic, and Hazardous Materials Technician, into a new career of engineering and manufacturing high-quality hemp-based CBD products. This allows me to keep helping our citizens through another avenue with greater reach.

The one person who really motivates me: My wife Stephanie is the single most important person that motivates me to follow and achieve my dreams. Her consistent commitment to family, marriage, friendships, helping others selflessly, and looking after her own health is truly inspiring. I have never met someone with so much self-discipline and such a kind heart. She makes everyone around her strive to be a better person. She lifts those up around her at every opportunity with a warm smile and words of encouragement.

My dream vacation would be: an Alaskan Cruise with the family fishing at each port along the way.

One thing I can’t live without: Dr. Pepper! I have given up this wonderful, delicious, sugary soda many times over for a diet or a few months break, but I love it and I keep going back. Dr. Pepper with crushed ice in the foam cup from Circle K is a drink from heaven for sure!

The last thing that made me laugh out loud: My little Boston Terrier! Each and every morning Ivan “The Terrible” wakes up when I do, army crawls across the floor on his belly to stretch, then springs into action and bounces in circles over and over (picture Tigger) to let me know he is ready to play. Nothing is better than starting every morning with a laugh at the antics of a pup who only knows happiness and playfulness all day – every day!

A movie I could never get tired of watching: has to be “Dumb and Dumber.” It makes me laugh each and every time I watch it.

My perfect day: Fly fishing on a river in Southwest Montana, family in tow, with the cool breeze and pine trees surrounding me. If I had a cold craft beer and a meal at the Gallatin River House, that would be the cherry on the sundae!

My first job was: Sandwich Artist for Subway. It helped that my employer was great and fed us a sub and Cold Stone ice cream every day I worked. That was fantastic for a teenager making $3.75/hr.

In the works today: A program that will bring Wellphora CBD to First Responders, Veterans, Teachers, and Nurses all at a special discounted rate. These people are the heroes and backbone of our communities who sacrifice their lives, sleep, health, and time with their families for the safety and wellness of others. It is a passion of mine to be able to give back.

My words of wisdom to aspiring business owners: Surround yourself with amazing, positive-minded people and empower them to succeed! Only grow with what you are capable of sustaining with those great people. Don’t compromise your integrity or core values for anyone. Your customers will “feel” the difference and get behind not only your company, but everything you stand for.