Jim McCann is a Long Island legend for having started and grown 1-800-Flowers, the largest florist and online gift shop. John Cronin and his father Mark X. Cronin are Long Islanders who started John’s Crazy Socks which is now the world’s largest sock store. They would love to become Long Island legends like the McCann’s.
These men have something else in common. Jim and his brother Chriss not only built 1-800-Flowers, but they have a brother, Kevin McCann, who has intellectual development disabilities. Jim established Smile Farms to provide developmentally disabled adults with meaningful work opportunities at farms, urban gardens, greenhouses and farm stands where they can grow and sell flowers, plants and produce in their local communities. Through John’s Crazy Socks, John and Mark demonstrate what people with differing abilities can accomplish and more than half their colleagues have a differing ability.
It is only natural that Jim McCann and the Cronins met and that John’s Crazy Socks begin to work together with Smile Farms and 1-800-Flowers. After a few initial conversations, John and Mark travelled to the 1-800-Flowers world headquarters in Jericho, Long Island to meet Jim McCann and begin to find ways to collaborate.
Said Jim McCann, “We are impressed by what John and Mark have built and applaud their mission to employ people with differing abilities.”
Here is some of what came from our time together:
- Jim McCann welcomed John and Mark along with Diana Martin of Smile Farms to his Celebrations Chatter podcast. They had a fun and rollicking conversation about Smile Farms, John’s Crazy Socks and the benefits of employing people with differing abilities. Jim will release that episode in March during National Disability Awareness Month.
- John and Mark Cronin met with product development staff from 1-800-Flowers as that site now carries gift boxes and socks from John’s Crazy Socks with more to come.
- John and Mark met with Kevin McCann, the inspiration for Smile Farms, as well as Diana Martin and Rebecca Tillman, who lead Smile Farms, to learn more about their organization and to begin conversations for collaboration.
- John and Mark joined the McCann’s for a photo shoot featuring socks from John’s Crazy Socks and products from Smile Farms. The photos will be used for joint promotions and in tandem with the podcast episode.
“It was so good to meet Jim McCann and his brother Kevin,” said John Cronin. “We are so excited to start selling our socks on 1-800-Flowers.”
Diana Martin from Smile Farms said, “It was good to meet John and Mark in person. We share the same mission and see many ways in which we can work together.”
“Selling our products on 1-800-Flowers is a great opportunity for John’s Crazy Socks,” said Mark X. Cronin. “Our socks and gift boxes make great gifts and there is no better gift site than 1-800-Flowers. We hope this opportunity will introduce us to new customers and help us grow. As we grow, we will create more jobs for people with differing possibilities and raise more money for our charity partners. And we see many possibilities in how we can work with Smile Farms to promote employment of people with differing abilities.”