Note: As part of World Down Syndrome Day 2018, people are encouraged to wear crazy socks. “The crazy sock initiative was formed to get people talking and asking questions about Down Syndrome. The idea is to wear brightly colored, mismatched, long, printed socks — or even layer three socks, one for each chromosome. Why socks you ask? The striped long socks resemble chromosomes, and who doesn’t love a pair of crazy socks!?”
When John Cronin first graduated from high school, he was unsure what direction his life would take. But then he got the idea to turn his love of socks into a small business. Together, he and his dad Mark started John’s Crazy Socks.
Ever since he was little, Cronin has loved crazy socks. His brothers would often ask their dad to have him tone it down, but John didn’t care:
They are not the fashion police. I love all the socks that are very very colorful and let me be me.
And the company called John’s Crazy Socks now has lots of very very colorful socks; over 1,500 different pairs. The socks feature everything from animals and sports to politicians and literature.
When they started the company in December 2016, the response was overwhelming. They ran out of stock almost immediately and were even going to local stores to buy Christmas socks so they could complete their orders.
The company operates on a pick-and-pack warehouse model; they source socks from other companies and distribute them. The system works well for the Cronins – they have shipped over 42,000 orders and brought in $1.7 million in revenue in the year that they have been in operation.
But the Cronins aren’t just in it for the money; they want to give back to the Down syndrome community. They design socks for various causes such as Down syndrome, autism, and Williams syndrome, hire employees with Down syndrome and other special needs, and donate to the Special Olympics. John himself is a Special Olympian, training to compete in snowshoeing.
Mark says that it would never have happened without John’s initiative. He’s always working hard to make the company succeed. John’s favorite part? Sock wrangling- that is, picking and packaging socks for delivery. They also like to add a personal touch for their customers; each package includes a thank-you note from John. Sometimes, if a customer is close by, John will even hand-deliver the package himself.
I have Down syndrome and it never holds me back.