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Teenage Businessman With Down Syndrome Sells Socks and Inspires

Posted by Brian Spence on Sep 10, 2018 8:00:00 AM

Downs Syndrome, Socks, Behavioral HealthAs a high school senior John Cronin started a business that became so successful that it should be an inspiration to every entrepreneur in America. The remarkable thing is not that John was a senior in high school when he launched "John's Crazy Socks", but that John has Down Syndrome.

The young man from Huntington, New York, was thinking about what to do after graduation when he approached his father, Mark, with the idea of going into business together. John thought having a food truck might be fun, but one thing was holding them back, "We can't cook", he says.

It didn't take long for true inspiration to give John the idea for crazy socks. He had been a fan of fun and unusual socks since he was a little kid, and thought they would make other people happy too.

Building a business and taking it personally

With 21 full and part-time staff, some of whom have disabilities, their online business grosses in the seven figures. With 1,500 different socks, there is a pair for every fashion, style and political persuasion: From Harry Potter and Star Trek to Tom Brady and John Kennedy to Bill Clinton and President Trump, golf, tennis, and fishing, there's a pair for you. You can even join the Sock of the Month Club. 

John takes pride is his product and the personal touch is important to him too. John says, "In every box I put a handwritten note, some candy, and two discount cards for 10% off. One of them for customers and one to give to a friend,"

A company with a heart that gives back

John is an avid snowshoer and hopes to compete in the Special Olympics, which holds a special place in his heart. Five percent of their earnings are donated to that organization. They also support other charities and advocate for the rights of people with disabilities. 


A ruling principle

John Cronin is living proof that having Down Syndrome doesn't mean you can't be a successful businessman. John and his father Mark see their business as a mission as well as a way to earn money. "We have found that the more we do for others, the better our business will succeed".

For more stories on this and related topics, visit the Behavioral Health section of our blog. And if you are interested in working with individuals with developmental disabilities, please contact us.


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