March 5, 2019: John and Mark Cronin, co-founders of John’s Crazy Socks, spoke at the U.S. State Department today and met with economic development and human rights staff. They addressed issues of entrepreneurism and empowering people with differing abilities. The two men are now part of the speaker’s bureau in the State Department’s International Information Programs.
“We want to show the world what is possible when you give someone with a differing ability an opportunity,” said John Cronin.
Mark X. Cronin said, “It was a great honor to speak at the State Department and to meet with key staff who are working to spread awareness of the rights of people with disabilities abroad. The State Department is making the case that the rights of the disabled are human rights.”
The two men met with Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Scott Busby, to discuss the practices employed at John’s Crazy Socks and how those might be shared with the international partners of the United States.
John’s Crazy Socks is a father-son social enterprise inspired by John Lee Cronin, a young man with Down syndrome, and his love of colorful and fun socks. They have a mission to spread happiness. In just over two years of operation, they have raised over $250,000 for their charity partners and created 39 permanent jobs, 23 of which are held by people with differing abilities. Their story has been told on many news outlets including the CBS Evening News, CNBC, Fox News, the BBC and the Canadian Broadcasting Company.
As part of their work with the State Department, John and Mark will spend the last week of March speaking in Ottawa and Vancouver with students, business and government leaders and entrepreneurs. “We want others to see how creating a unified work place, where people with differing abilities work side-by-side with neuro-typicals, has led to better morale, better productivity, better retention and enabled us to recruit great talent,” said Mark. “We also want to share the strength of the social enterprise business model where social and business missions combine to form a dynamic and successful organization.”
The Cronin’s day at the State Department included a presentation and question and answer session with staff that was recorded and will shared with U.S. embassies around the world. They also held a conference call with State Department staff in Canada to plan their trip at the end of March. “It is very exciting,” said John, “and I am happy that we get to share what my colleagues with differing abilities can do.”
About John’s Crazy Socks
John’s Crazy Socks has a simple mission: spreading happiness. It is a social enterprise with both social and business goals. The company is built on four pillars:
- Inspiration and Hope: Showing what is possible when you give a person a chance. 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. John’s Crazy Socks currently has 39 employees, 23 of whom have a differing ability.
- 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 over $240,000 for our charity partners and publish a monthly Giving Back Report.
- Socks You Can Love: We have over 2,300 different socks plus a Sock of the Month Club, gift boxes and gift bags. And we match the great socks with great service: we do same day shipping so most of our customers receive their socks within two days of ordering.
- Making It Personal: Every package gets a thank you note from John and some candy.
Please see our website for more information about our openings. For more information about John’s Crazy Socks, please visit our webpage, Facebook page, Instagram account or YouTube channel. You can also contact us at 631-760-5625 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.