John and Mark X. Cronin, Co-founders of John’s Crazy Socks spoke as part of the Sonderlands Talent Festival in Madrid, Spain. Billed as the “world’s biggest talent festival,” the event featured entrepreneurs, singers, dancers, writers and academics from around the world. Originally, scheduled to take place over three days in Madrid, the organizers moved the entire festival online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I loved speaking at this festival,” said John Cronin, Chief Happiness Officer at John’s Crazy Socks. “I want to stand up for people with Down syndrome and differing abilities to show the world what we can do if given an opportunity.”
Nuria Albaladejo, one of the lead event planners, said, “John and Mark were one of our most sought after presenters. Their message of hope and inclusion mean more to the world now than ever before.”
“And the audience loved them, said Ms. Albaladejo. “They have such a wonderful project and shared such a powerful message. John and Mark rock!”
The Sonderlands Festivals aims to connect, activate and empower people to change the world. At Sonderslands, they believe in long-term relationships. Because for a story to last, there must be a commitment through our actions. SONDERSLAND is the starting point that connects thousands of young people from all over the world with the main trends that the new normal holds for us. An experience that will make us discover the challenges and opportunities that emerge in the current global situation, and the professional future of an entire generation. There is nothing impossible.
Mark X. Cronin, John’s father and co-founder, said, “We were so excited to participate in the Sonderlands Festival to reach an international audience of highly motivated and influential people. We want to share how our Social Enterprise has found success. It is not enough to simply make money, each business needs a larger mission, one that makes the world a better place. For us, it is showing what people with differing abilities can do.”
John and Mark X. Cronin are sought after speakers who reach an international audience. Just in the past two weeks, they have spoken at conferences in Spain, India and Canada. They have testified twice before the U.S Congress and addressed the United Nations. And they are winners of the EY Entrepreneurs of the Year Award.
John’s Crazy Socks is committed to showing what people with differing abilities can achieve. John is not only an award winning entrepreneur, but he also has Down syndrome. More than half their employees have a differing ability. John and Mark are frequent speakers on the importance of inclusion and fierce advocates for the rights of people with disabilities.
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 built on four pillars:
- Inspiration and Hope: We hire people with differing abilities, share videos to show what people can do, host school tours and school groups that come for work experience. We want the world to see what people with differing abilities can do.
- Giving Back: We donate 5 percent of our earnings to the Special Olympics and raise money through our Sock of the Month Club and charity and awareness socks for our charity partners like Autism Speaks, the Autism Society of America, the National Down Syndrome Society, and the Williams Syndrome Association. We have raised more than $375,000 for our charity partners and publish a monthly Giving Back Report.
- Products You Can Love: We have over 2,000 different socks plus a Sock of the Month Club, gift boxes and gift bags. And our selection is matched by our customer service: Most customers receive their socks within two days of ordering.
- Making It Personal: Every package gets a thank-you note from John and some candy.