Sevnica, Slovenia CNN  — 

Just moments after Donald Trump celebrated being elected as the next President of the United States, a small town in Slovenia was ready to hold a party of its very own.

In Sevnica, those who grew up with Melanija Knavs – now better known as Melania Trump – began to celebrate the graduation of their local celebrity from hometown girl to America’s next first lady.

The quiet industrial town of 5,000 on the banks of the Sava River in central Slovenia was Melania’s childhood home before she moved to the capital city of Ljubljana.

READ: From soft-spoken schoolgirl to next first lady

Here’s what people in Sevnica think about their most famous former resident becoming the second foreign-born first lady in US history.

Mirjana Jelancic, neighbor

Mirjana is now principal of the school she attended with Melania.

READ: Melania: I don’t always agree with Donald

“I am very happy for her. She was a good friend, we lost contact but I hope she comes back,” Mirjana Jelancic told CNN.

“She is a very nice person, very kind, very wise and very innovative – this is Melania. She’s very traditional and educated – a very good person.”

Zlata, neighbor

Zlata lived in the same block as Melania's parents until they moved away.

“She was a beauty as a child, like a model. Her mother is 73 and still looks beautiful,” Zlata told CNN.

“Donald should come here and check out the wine and sausages,” she added.

“I guess Sevnica will become more attractive to tourists now. People will finally know that Slovenia is not Slovakia.”

Nena Bedek, teacher and artist

Nena says her students were caught up in the emotion of the election.

“I like that she won, I’m so happy for her,” said Nena Bedek, adding that she was a friend of Melania’s. I came to school today, and the kids asked if I saw it on TV. They all rushed in and shouted, ‘did you see, did you see?’

“I hope she doesn’t forget about us and that she brings her son to Sevnica.”

Renata Kuhar, local tour guide

Renata hopes more tourists will now come to visit Sevnica.

“I was surprised because I did not expect him to win because of his campaign,” said Renata Kuhar of Trump’s victory.

“I am happy for Melania. I woke up to watch the news at 6 a.m. for first time in my life.

“I hope the world will come to know about us and will come and visit.”

David Kozinc, wine salesman

David says he may make a new wine to mark the election victory.

“We were expecting it and had no doubt he would win. I thought it would be close but I wasn’t expecting such a difference in the electoral college votes,” David Kozinc told CNN.

“It’s good for us and for Melania. It’s good for our town and our wine.

“We will probably make wine and call it ‘Trump.’ It is very nice that people will now know where Sevnica is.”

Roman Smid, train conductor

Roman hopes that Melania will not forget her roots in Sevnica.

“I prefer Trump to Clinton,” Roman Smid told CNN. “I hope she will promote Sevnica, and tourists will come here and she doesn’t forget about us now she’s in the White House.”

Tatjana Sinkovec, local shoe maker

Tatjana is already working on a new design for Melania.

“We are proud of Melania and wish her a lot of success,” said Tatjana Sinkovec.

“We are already and designing and making a new shoe for her to wear in the White House.

“She will get them for the new year.”


The town council also moved quickly to praise their former resident.

“Here in Sevnica we are very proud that Melania comes from our town,” read a statement.

“We believe that here in Sevnica she had a beautiful, safe childhood, with her loving family and friends, she was excellent at school, people who knew her only use very beautiful and positive words when speaking of her. We believe she will be a great first lady.

“We wish to both of them, Melania and Donald, and their family, all the best.”

Matjaz Krivic reported from Sevnica, James Masters reported from London. Nick Thompson and Angela Dewan also contributed to this report.