Sock business is booming for man with Down syndrome

John’s Crazy Socks is starting out on the right foot.

ByABC News
May 3, 2017, 10:19 AM

— -- It’s a company with a straightforward mission: Make people happy through socks.

The colorful footwear sold by John’s Crazy Socks is certainly unique not only for its designs but also for the person who came up with the company.

John Cronin, 21, of Huntington, New York, has Down syndrome — and his company could make as much as a million dollars in revenue before it closes out its first year of business.

Mark Cronin, John Cronin’s dad and business partner, said he doesn’t want to make predictions just yet. But given the run the company has had over the last few months, a million-dollar year isn’t a pipe dream. March, the company’s biggest month so far, yielded $350,000 in revenue, Mark Cronin said. The company has made more than half a million dollars since its kickoff five months ago.

The company launched in December when John Cronin approached his father about starting a business. His plan: to sell socks. “Comfortable, colorful and cozy” were his three requirements, John Cronin told ABC News.

Mark Cronin said they mapped out an online store, named it Crazy Socks at his son’s suggestion and made the first deliveries in person in their community. In February the company launched a line of “awareness” socks in addition to its usual offerings: Autism and Down syndrome awareness were the first ones. Those socks sold particularly well, and a portion of proceeds goes to charities like Special Olympics and a local chapter of the Autism Society of America.

In March a video about the company on the website The Mighty, which focuses on positive stories on people with disabilities, changed everything.

“It completely wiped us out,” Mark Cronin said. They spent the whole month catching up on orders, he added.

In April, they hired more employees and moved their office to a larger space. Today the company has more than 850 sock styles, and the selection is “growing every day,” Mark Cronin said.

The company has spent no money on advertising, he said. Sales have come through social media and word of mouth.

John Cronin said he “loves making people happy,” and with each order, he includes a note and candy.

While the success of the business is certainly welcome, Mark Cronin told ABC News there’s another great benefit in working with his son. “Being John’s partner, seeing him come up the learning curve, is just wonderful. He works very hard.”

John Cronin agreed, saying, “I like working with my dad."

Mark Cronin hopes that John Cronin’s story inspires other parents of kids with Down syndrome to know what’s possible.