At their heart, John and Mark X. Cronin, the father and son team that co-founded John’s Crazy Socks, are entrepreneurs so they relish the opportunity to speak with other entrepreneurs. That’s why they meet each semester with the students in the entrepreneurship program at the Rhode Island Developmental Disabilities Council (RIDDC).
“The RIDDC program enrolls self-advocates, people like me who have a differing ability,” said John Cronin. “We want to encourage them and share our experiences to help them succeed.” John is not only the founder of John’s Crazy socks, but he has Down syndrome.
Claudia Lowe from the RIDDC said, “We look forward to hearing John and Mark speak to our students. Their talk is always a highlight of the class. And no matter how many times I hear them speak, I always learn something new.”
Speaking to Entrepreneurs
During their talk, John and Mark shared the story of how they started John’s Crazy Socks, offering inspiration and lessons on how to make an idea a reality. They also explained why they built John’s Crazy Socks as a social enterprise with both a social and a business mission.
Mark X. Cronin said, “Creating a business with a purpose helps us stand out in the marketplace. It allows us to connect with our customers and build lasting relationships.”
The talk also addressed the benefits of hiring people with differing abilities. John and Mark have recorded a TEDx Talk on this topic: “Hiring people with differing abilities is not altruism, it is good business.”
The students asked to learn more about how John and Mark marketed John’s Crazy Socks and particularly how they used social media. Mark shared, “Remember, you are building a community on social media, not trying to sell stuff. Take your processes and turn that into content. Share the personal side of your business. Engage with your community, that will lead to resilient relationships and persistent sales.”
John and Mark Are Frequent Speakers at Programs for Entrepreneurs
John and Mark are sought-after keynote speakers and they particularly enjoy speaking with entrepreneurs. They have spoken with the Entrepreneurs Organization, networking groups, Chambers of Commerce and business conferences. And they have spoken at entrepreneurship programs at many colleges and universities including Holy Cross, Hofstra, Loyola University, Ripon College, St. Joseph’s University, Rutgers, and Middle Tennessee State.
“Entrepreneurs do more than lead a business,” said John, “they make a difference in the world.”
Keynote and Event Speakers
You can have John and Mark speak to your organization or school. They share their entrepreneurial story of how a young man with Down syndrome together with his father created what is today the world’s largest sock store with a mission to spread happiness. Their speaking engagements bring laughter, tears and inspire people to see what is possible for each of us to achieve. They have spoken in person at events across Canada, the United States and Mexico and virtually at events around the world. They have spoken at events for Microsoft, EY, Bank of America, the Special Olympics, and the National Down Syndrome Society, among others.
About The Rhode Island Developmental Disabilities Council
The Rhode Island Developmental Disabilities Council believes that people with developmental disabilities should fully participate in community life. Men, women, and children should be able to enjoy family life. Children and adolescents should go to school. Adults should work. All should have decent homes, have friends, and live as independently as possible.
The Developmental Disabilities Council works within communities to promote change that encourages, inspires, makes it possible for individuals to create, pursue, and achieve lives that are personally satisfying… lives that are Meaningful, Productive, Healthy, and Safe. The RIDDC offers resources, teaching, seminars, and different avenues of doing better things to make their lives more independent and more inclusive. You can learn more at their website: https://riddc.org.
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 $630,000 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.