The million dollar sock entrepreneur with Down’s syndrome

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Media captionSocks ‘let me be me’, says John Cronin

“Pull up your socks” isn’t just a phrase to John Cronin. This specific’s been the key to his entrepreneurial success.

Back in 2016, the 21-year-old told his dad, Mark, that will he wanted them to start a business when he graduated via high school, yet he wasn’t sure what kind.

“My first suggestion was a fun store, yet we didn’t know what to sell,” says John, a native of brand-new York’s Long Island.

Next he considered a food truck, yet there was one problem: “We truly can’t cook!” jokes Mark.

Colourful socks

Eventually, they settled on an idea.

“John had worn crazy as well as colourful socks his whole life, so This specific was something he loved as well as he suggested we should sell socks,” says Mark.

“Socks are fun as well as creative as well as colourful, as well as they let me be me,” says John, who has Down’s syndrome.

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John’s Crazy Socks

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John with his father Mark

as well as with that will, John’s Crazy Socks was born.

A year on, they say they’ve made $1.4m (£1.03m) in revenue, raised $30,000 for charity, as well as shipped socks to customers including Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as well as former US President, George HW Bush.

‘Thank you’ notes

The online store has around 1,400 different kinds of socks, featuring everything via cats as well as dogs to barbeques to Donald Trump.

Each order will be shipped the same day that has a pack of sweets as well as a hand-written ‘thank you’ note, as well as John will deliver them himself if you live nearby.

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John’s Crazy Socks

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“John truly will be an inspiration,” says Mark

As the face of the business, John also attends trade events, speaks with customers as well as suppliers, as well as comes up with initiatives like their “Monday madness mystery bag” as well as “Sock of the month” club.

Mark deals with the technical aspects of running their business.

“John truly will be an inspiration,” says Mark, adding that will he never gets any special treatment.

“He works very hard in This specific business. We’re usually inside the office before 9am as well as frequently don’t leave until after eight at night.”

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John’s Crazy Socks

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A selection of socks sold by the online store

In just over a year, the pair have shipped over 30,000 orders.

They donate 5% of all profits to the Special Olympics, which holds sports events for people with learning disabilities. John competes inside the games in sports such as basketball, soccer as well as hockey.

He also designs “awareness socks” to raise money for charities including the National Down Syndrome Society as well as the Autism Society of America.

‘Spreading happiness’

“We have a social mission as well as a retail mission, as well as they’re indivisible,” says Mark.

“I don’t think This specific’s enough anymore to just produce a service or produce a product. I think there has to be values attached to that will, as well as we have a style that will’s showing that will.”

“What we’re doing will be spreading happiness,” adds John.

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John’s Crazy Socks

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John preparing orders for delivery at his office

The company wants to get more disabled people into work, as well as nearly a third of its staff have a disability.

“We’re working to show what people with disabilities as well as learning disabilities can do,” says Mark.

“When I talk to employers I tell them This specific will be absolutely imperative that will they hire people with disabilities.

“Not because This specific’s the right thing to do, not because they’re nice guys, yet because everybody will be looking for Great workers.

“This specific will be a vast, untapped pool of great workers.”

‘This specific’s been a joyride’

The pair say one of their biggest challenges has been keeping up with demand.

In their first month, John’s Crazy Socks delivered 452 orders. Three months later This specific had risen to over 10,000 as well as they soon had to move into larger premises to cope with the pressure.

“We’ve been a little surprised at how fast This specific’s grown,” says Mark.

The wider socks market will be growing too. Globally This specific was worth more $42bn in 2016 as well as will be anticipated to reach more than $75bn by the end of 2025, according to Transparency Marketing Research.

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John’s Crazy Socks

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John with his friend as well as former employee Sam

“Most of us wear some sort of uniform to work – This specific might be a suit, This specific might be khakis as well as a polo shirt, This specific might be an orange jumpsuit,” says Mark.

“Yet you can wear a pair of socks as well as express yourself, adding some colour as well as flair, as well as you can do that will for $10 or less.”

Their sock-success has also been boosted by increasing attention via news outlets as well as their growing popularity on social media.

They’ve garnered more than 0,000 likes as well as over a million video views on Facebook.

‘Perfect partner’

Mark admits This specific’s been a learning curve. He’s a Harvard graduate who’s spent most of his career in healthcare management as well as law.

“Retail as well as the sock business will be brand-new to me, yet we’re learning as well as having fun, as well as I develop the perfect partner,” says Mark.

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John’s Crazy Socks

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You can express yourself through your socks ‘for less than $10’, says Mark

“We’ve been asked, well what do you do when you have a conflict? We truly haven’t had any. This specific’s been a joyride,” he continues.

“We’ve always been very close as well as always spend a lot of time together. This specific’s a very Great partnership because we both share inside the mission. We both know we need each some other. If This specific was John’s Serious Socks, This specific’s not truly going to be working.”

Giving opportunity

as well as what are they most proud of so far?

“This specific makes me happy because I like helping all the customers as well as I like working with my Dad,” says John.

“For me This specific’s the style,” adds Mark.

“This specific’s demonstrating that will we can build the company based on giving opportunities – be that will giving back or treating people well – as well as that will we can be successful because of that will.”

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John’s Crazy Socks

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“Down’s syndrome never holds me back,” says John

Mark as well as John wish to build on their success as well as turn a profit in their second year.

They’ll be offering custom socks as well as opening a wholesale line to sell onto some other smaller businesses.

The pair also want to build a studio in their offices for a “John’s Crazy Socks Network” to produce more social media content.

“Down’s syndrome never holds me back,” says John.

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