This Teen With Down Syndrome Made Millions With Crazy Socks

George Bush, Justin Trudeau, and even Bob Dylan all have a pair of John's Crazy Socks.

Jul 14, 2018

When John began his last year of high school in 2016, he began to investigate his options for what to do next. Born with Down Syndrome, John did not like any of the options open to him. He turned to his dad, Mark X. Cronin, and told him that he wanted to go into business with him.

John loves crazy socks, he loves making people smile, and it was clear from the start what this business would be. Combining his two biggest passions, John, and his father, they founded John’s Crazy Socks. This online social enterprise is spreading happiness in the world through socks. They currently offer over 1,900 different socks, as well as a sock of the month club, gift bags, and gift boxes. “We’d like to say that we’re the world’s largest sock store,” says Mark, “John is the chief happiness officer, the face of the business and the inspiration.”

Along with the socks, they send candy and personal thank you notes from John, In the beginning, John hand-delivered the socks. Little did they know that this would be great for business - customers loved meeting John and took photos with him and posted them on social media. The business continued to grow, and within one year they shipped over 42,000 orders, worth $1.7 million, and have raised over $100,000 for their charitable partner.

John designed the world’s first Down Syndrome Awareness socks, which features a Down Syndrome superhero. Down Syndrome does not hold John back. He participates in all of the company’s major decisions. John’s Crazy Socks employs adults with intellectual disabilities, and they share what they can do through social media, videos, and other content.

They hope that other people will see this and decide to employ people with special needs, “We want to show the world what’s possible when you give someone a chance,” says Mark. John and his Mark go to schools, give speeches, and just try their best to spread their beautiful message.

Celebrities such as American President George Bush and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are sporting John’s Crazy Socks. “In schools we tend to measure two things, analytical and verbal abilities. But there’s an awful lot more to life than that,” said Mark, “His [John’s] social skills are off the charts, his dedication to getting things done and paying attention. We focus on what people can do, not what they can’t do. And it’s part of our mission.”

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RISI ADLER FINKEL, CONTRIBUTOR
Risi has a passion for reading, traveling, and food. When she isn't writing about those things, she is experiencing them with her husband and son. One of the reasons she loves to travel is to learn about all the good in the world, and share these stories with others.

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