Selma Avdičević

From: Gradačac, Bosnia and Herzegvina  Current City: Montclair, NJ
"Pretty soon after arriving here, I realized that I’m not going back. I found a true home and a true opportunity in New York."
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Upon arriving in New York City, Selma Avdičević was shocked by the amount of electricity consumed by the city. After living in a war-torn country without much electricity or food, New York was a drastic change.

Selma was born in Gradačac, Bosnia and Herzegovina, but her family moved to Tuzla in 1984 after her father was offered a job there. In 1992, war broke out. By the time she was eighteen years old, Selma was fluent in French and English. She translated for journalists who were covering the war, sometimes finding herself on the front lines. As a family, it was decided that Selma and her younger sister would leave the country while their parents stayed behind. Since Selma was twenty years old and her sister was a minor, she was made her sister’s legal guardian so they could travel together. They were sent to a refugee camp in Croatia before being relocated to New York City by the International Rescue Committee.

Ms. Avdičević got her first American job as an administrative assistant. She eventually found work in real estate management, a field in which she excelled; at one point she was responsible for more than 15 million square feet of office space in Manhattan. Without taking a break from work, she graduated from Hunter College with a BA in English Language Arts and Theater and earned her Master’s in Science in Real Estate from New York University.

After a long career in real estate management, Ms. Avdičević started her own business: Woolly Boo, LLC. Her company produces natural, chemical-free bedding for children and infants, reminiscent of European wool bedding. She lives in Montclair, New Jersey with her husband and two children.

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