John Cronin, 21, has always loved fancy socks, and after graduating from high school decided to turn his passion into a career. His entrepreneurship has created a million dollar company. What else makes John so special? He has Down’s syndrome.
He says he has always loved accessorizing colorful socks with his outfits, even though his older brothers criticized him for his fashion sense. John didn’t let their opinions stop him from staying true to himself.
When John graduated he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do with his future. He had decided to team up with his dad for something, and they had originally decided on a food truck, but that idea quickly fell flat.
“One of the problems, me and my dad, both can’t cook,” John said. “Both of us are good at eating.” So they went back to the drawing board and decided to start a business based on John’s love of crazy socks.
In November 2016, the Long Island, New York, duo started their business with a pick and pack warehouse. They included socks of all kinds with crazy images ranging from the faces of Abraham Lincoln and Donald Trump to astrological signs and beer. They named their business “John’s Crazy Socks.”
Unbeknownst to them, it only took a month before the father son team was flooded with orders. One year later they had shipped more than 42,000 orders and had made $1.7 million in revenue. The company has high profile clients like Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and former U.S. President, George H.W. Bush.
When asked about their secret to success, the duo says it’s all about being personable with their clients. Each order is shipped immediately after being ordered and is packed with a a goodie bag of sweets and a personal thank you note handwritten by John himself. He’s even been known to hand deliver the orders if the customer lives close by.
John’s dad, Mark, says that John is an inspiration. “He works very hard in this business. We’re usually in the office before 9 a.m. and frequently don’t leave until after eight at night.”
Due to the success of the company, the business has donated five percent of its profits to the Special Olympics. John is a special Olympian himself and competes in the snow shoeing category. The business also makes donations to other causes that support autism and Williams syndrome. Two dollars from each sale also goes to local and national organizations.
John says he has learned valuable skills and experiences from his business. He says he’s had to learn to knock on doors and speak to strangers, and he’s even had to overcome his fear of dogs. “We hire people with disabilities,” says Mark. “It shows here’s what people with disabilities can do if you give them a chance.”
Statistics show that eight in 10 self-started businesses are failed to doom, which makes John’s Crazy Socks even more of an inspiration. John says he’s never let his Down Syndrome hold him back, which is obvious with the success of his business.
There may be no one more deserving of such success than John. Everyone should have a pair of his kooky socks. If you agree, please share John’s inspiring story with your family and friends.