According to a UN report, each year approximately 3,000 to 5,000 children are born with Down syndrome. It is believed that there are about 2,50,000 families in the United States of America alone who are affected by Down Syndrome.
Still in most parts of society, persons with Down syndrome are considered inappropriate for work. However, there is no excuse for people who possess an intense desire to break their disability barriers and achieve their aim.
The story of 23-year old John Cronin is one of such persons who proved that disabilities like Down syndrome cannot hold them back.
John and his father currently run a million-dollar business called “John’s Crazy Socks.”
How the father-son duo began their million-dollar journey?
It was the time when John entered his last year of school in 2016. His Dad, Mark had already started looking for different job options for John.
As John studied retailing and customer service, he wanted to establish a business. Being a 21-year old boy with Down syndrome, John never considered his disability as a limitation for his capabilities.
After searching for various options, John came across the idea of starting an online socks business with his father. Previously, the father-son duo has worked together.
Excited about establishing his own business, John already decided its name as “Crazy Socks!”
Setting up Crazy Socks online
Just after John and Mark decided to establish Crazy Socks, they built a website and contacted some suppliers for inventory. Later on, they opened bank accounts and filed with the State of New York.
As a marketing strategy, John and Mark followed a simple way of creating a Facebook page and posting product videos where John talked about Crazy Socks.
John kept the video presentation natural and genuine. He also used a catchphrase, “socks, socks and more socks!” in their product videos.
Finally, they opened their site for purchase and soon started receiving orders. People loved John’s Crazy Socks and the word spread quickly to famous personalities including Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeu and Former US President, George HW Bush.
A Giant Leap while Supporting People with Disabilities
By the end of the first month John’s Crazy Socks shipped 452 order. Later, in a short span of a year, their online socks business generated more than $1.4 million. John and Mark also raised $30,000 for charity. Similarly, they donate 5% of revenue to the Special Olympics that organizes sports events for people with disabilities.
Additionally, when it comes to hiring staff workforce, John’s Crazy Socks hire most of the people with differing abilities.
“Giving Back is an essential part of what we do. We do not think a business can simply sell stuff, it is essential to give back,” reads a line on their company’s website.
Even BBC News noticed John and Mark’s efforts and interviewed them.
While speaking with the BBC, John said, “Down syndrome never holds me back.”
Mark added, “We both are absolutely committed to the vision we have.” “And we both know we need each other.”
Making a Bond with Customers
Spreading happiness through colorful socks, John’s Crazy Socks is dedicated to delight customers. The company sends “Thank You” note and some “candy” to every customer.
If a package is to be delivered to a member of military service, John adds a special thank you card in the delivery box.
Increasing the Awareness
To raise awareness about how and what people with disabilities can do, John and Mark speak at events, conferences, and business meetings. Similarly, they take steps to advocate changes in Law and policy to empower the rights of people with differing abilities.
It seems overwhelming that how a 23-year old and his father understand their customers.
Without any special marketing strategies and heavy investments in advertising, John and Mark are successfully running a million-dollar business. Sheer dedication to fight obstacles and overcoming them while developing new ideas with enthusiasm and energy are the few key points that John has mastered.
“We want to be profitable, but we have found that the more we do for others, the better our business will succeed,” reads John’s Crazy Socks website.
-Written and Developed by Mayur Shewale