Congressman Nick LaLota (NY-1) visited John’s Crazy Socks yesterday. He met with the staff and the father and son co-founders, John and Mark X. Cronin. John and Mark bootstrapped their start up into the world’s largest sock store.
John’s Crazy Socks is a beacon for showing what people with differing abilities can do. John is not only an entrepreneur, but he has Down syndrome and more than half the employees at John’s Crazy Socks have a differing ability. Therefore, some of the day with the Congressman included a conversation about legislation that can support people with differing abilities.
John Cronin said, “I wanted the Congressman to see our business and the work that my colleagues do. I want him to know what people with differing abilities can do when given a chance.”
Congressman LaLota told the co-founders, “I am so impressed by the business you have built and the impact that you are having.”
A Tour and a Demonstration of the Power of a Job
John gave the Congressman a tour of the offices and warehouse and demonstrated the pick and pack process that enables John’s Crazy Socks to do same day shipping with an error rate less than 0.2%. They do this because of the excellent work of their colleagues who have a differing ability.
“We demonstrate that hiring people with differing abilities is not altruism, it is good business,” said Mark X. Cronin.
John and Mark shared stories of the impact that giving a person an opportunity to earn a job has had on their lives.
The Congressman was duly impressed and said, “The jobs you create are so important. We want to create more opportunities like this.”
“Our business has enabled us to meet with elected officials and policy makers,” said Mark. “That creates an obligation for us to speak up on issues for people with differing abilities.”
Congressman LaLota was interested to learn what he and Congress can do to better support employment for people with differing abilities. They discussed legislation that would eliminate the subminimum wage which allows employers to pay people with a disability as little as five cents an hour.
They also discussed raising the SSI asset limits, which have been frozen at $2,000 since 1989, to $10,000 for individual beneficiaries, $20,000 for married couples, and annually adjust for inflation.
“The Congressman came to listen and took careful notes,” said John. “I liked that.”
A Gift of Socks
John presented the Congressman with a gift of Unity Socks. John first designed and produced his Unity Socks in 2020. They are dark blue with American flags on them.
“I sent a pair of Unity Socks to every member of Congress asking them to talk to each other and get along,” said John.
Although they had only met briefly once before, Congressman LaLota and Mark had something in common: they are both graduates of St. Anthony’s High School and one could see the imprint that their high school left on both men. Mark congratulated Congressman LaLota as he and his wife will be honored at this year’s St. Anthony’s Gala Dinner.
About John’s Crazy Socks
John’s Crazy Socks was inspired by John Lee Cronin, a young man with Down syndrome, and his love of colorful and fun socks—what he calls his “crazy socks.” He and his father, Mark X. Cronin, started the company as a social enterprise with a mission of Spreading Happiness™. With more than 4,000 socks, John’s Crazy Socks is now the world’s largest sock store. More than half their employees have a differing ability, and their Giving Back program has raised over $700,000 for charity partners like the Special Olympics, the National Down Syndrome Society, and the Autism Society of America. Most of all, they are Spreading Happiness™.
For more information about John’s Crazy Socks, visit our webpage, Facebook page, Instagram account, TikTok or YouTube channel. You can also contact us at 631-760-5625 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.