“Socks socks and more socks” is John Cronin’s motto. The 21-year-old entrepreneur with down syndrome built a $1.3 million sock empire. John’s Crazy Socks is a company with a mission to inspire others and crush stereotypes of what people with disabilities can accomplish. “Down syndrome never holds me back,” John says in an interview with Fox Business. “I love Inspiring people.”
In 2016 John graduated high school and was faced with every late teen’s biggest decision: what to do and where to go next. His father, Mark Cronin, said John has always been interested in business. The young entrepreneur came up with several creative ideas including a fun store and a food truck. John decided to focus on something he already had a passion for, and that was colorful socks.
His supportive father believed in his son, and together they opened their online sock-shop in December of 2016. Their stock contains a wide variety of funky and wild patterns to choose from. You’ll find socks with dogs, foods, and all sorts of geometric shapes on them. John’s Crazy Socks offers 1,300 different pairs of fun, and John couldn’t be more proud.
“We are on a mission to spread happiness, and we are spreading that message through socks,” says Mark Cronin.
Like most startups, John’s Crazy Socks ran into some obstacles. Manufacturers initially refused to do business with a company that had no prior experience. Mark says potential partners expected them to fail because they are a small business. After making $1.3 Million in their first year, manufacturing companies will think twice about turning a small business down. John’s Crazy Socks filled orders for some famous figures including the former president George H.W. Bush.
John and Mark make sure to give back with all their success. 5% of profits go to charities such as the National Down syndrome Society. They even carry special socks for causes including Autism Awareness.
Additionally, the two businessmen make a point to hire people with disabilities. They know firsthand that a disability doesn’t mean a person can’t succeed, so they give others the chance that they deserve.
“We are demonstrating that by working with people with special needs they become an asset, they become a reason for our success, not a liability, not an obstacle. We had to overcome that,” says Mark X. Cronin.