Jul 21, 2020
John Cronin and his dad Mark X. Cronin are the Co-Founders of John's Crazy Socks, a social enterprise with the mission to spread happiness. In just 3 years, they bootstrapped their startup into a multi-million dollar company with sales in over 80 nations.
John has Down Syndrome and lives his life with the motto: "Down Syndrome never holds me back". More than half of their employees have a differing ability and everyday John and Mark demonstrate what their colleagues are capable of. They are fierce advocates for the rights of the differently-abled, testifying twice before the US Congress and having spoken at the United Nations.
John and Mark are winners of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year and The Monsignor Thomas J. Hartman Humanitarian of the Year Award. They're members of the US State Department's Speaker's Bureau and have addressed audiences across the US, Canada, and Mexico, speaking before social service agencies, fundraisers, universities, and corporations.
When John Cronin left high school, he wanted to go into business. The unemployment rate among people with disabilities is at an all-time high in the US and since John has Down Syndrome, he knew getting a job would be tough. So, with the help of his father, Mark X. Cronin, John started searching for business ideas and eventually had his Eureka moment: socks. John and Mark became business partners and immediately got started by building a Shopify store and getting their first inventory.
When they got 42 orders on the first day of business, they knew they were onto something big. They have since scaled their business to over 7 figures and have appeared in several media outlets including the BBC, Fox Business News, and ABC News, as well as on Google and magazines like Money and The Mighty.
John Cronin and Mark Cronin, the father-son Co-Founders of John's Crazy Socks, are this week's guests on the Relationship Commerce Podcast, where they talk to Dean Dutro about how they built a fun and colorful socks business with limited resources. John and Mark explain why they chose a socks business, the main challenges they faced when bootstrapping, what they did to beat the competition, and why they decided to prioritize developing a social enterprise.