John Cronin, the co-founder of John’s Crazy Socks, has been named Entrepreneur of the Year by the Long Island Chapter of Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EONY LI). John earned this honor due to his co-founding of John’s Crazy Socks and leadership that has seen his business create 39 jobs and earn over $5 million last year. At age 23, John demonstrates every day what people with Down syndrome can accomplish.
EONY LI recognized John’s contributions by announcing this honor on World Down Syndrome Day. John is not a person with Down syndrome who is an entrepreneur, he is an entrepreneur who has Down syndrome. John has been a fierce advocate for the rights of people with differing abilities. He has testified twice before the U.S. Congress and has been a frequent visitor on Capitol Hill, meeting with legislators on issues ranging from eliminating the subminimum wage to eliminating the marriage penalty for people with a disability.
“I am grateful for this honor,” said John. “I work very hard in my business. I want everyone to know that I have Down syndrome, but Down syndrome never holds me back.”
“John is an inspiration to entrepreneurs everywhere. He took his passions and created a successful and impactful business – inspiring others with differing abilities to find purpose in their lives – and this is why we have chosen him as our 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year,” stated Stephen Distante, Entrepreneurs’ Organization NY Long Island Chapter President.
John started John’s Crazy Socks with his father, Mark X. Cronin, in the fall of 2016. John had entered his last year of school at Huntington High School and had begun looking at his options after graduation. Like many people with an intellectual disability, there were not many good options available to John. A natural entrepreneur, he suggested to his father that they go into business together. John had the idea to sell socks because he had long worn crazy socks. “They let me be me,” says John.
John and his father opened their online store on Friday, December 9, 2016 and immediately began receiving orders. They made hand deliveries of those orders, adding candy and a hand- written thank you note from John to each order. The two men have gone on to create a social enterprise: a business model with both a social and business mission. “We have a goal to spread happiness,” says John.
Part of their mission is to show what people with differing abilities can do. More than half the employees (23) at John’s Crazy Socks have a differing ability. The company makes videos to show the world what their staff can do and hosts school tours and work groups. As the face of the company and the Chief Happiness Officer, John leads the tours and is featured in the videos. John and Mark have spoken across the U.S., Canada and Mexico and are part of the U.S. State Department’s Speakers’ Bureau.
About Entrepreneurs’ Organization NY Long Island:
The Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO) is a Global business network of 13,000+ leading entrepreneurs in 186 chapters and 58 countries. Founded in 1987 by a group of young entrepreneurs, EO enables business owners to learn from each other, leading to greater business success and an enriched personal life.
We educate, we transform, we inspire and we offer invaluable resources in the form of global events, leadership-development programs, an online entrepreneur forum and executive education opportunities, among other offerings designed for personal and professional growth.
At its core, EO is a collection of like-minded entrepreneurs focused on business growth, personal development and community engagement. In addition to our mission, vision and core values, our global makeup is comprised of nearly 13,000+ individual member stories.
The Long Island Chapter was founded in 2018 and recruits like-minded Long Island based entrepreneurs ready to grow their business while connecting and learning from the world’s most influential community of entrepreneurs. More Info can be found here:www.eolongisland.org
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About John’s Crazy Socks
John’s Crazy Socks is a father-son venture inspired by John Lee Cronin, a young man with Down syndrome, and his love of colorful and fun socks, or what he calls his “crazy socks.” We're on a mission to spread happiness.
John’s Crazy Socks is a social enterprise with both a social mission and a business mission. 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 $250,000 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.
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.