Working alongside someone you love can be one of the most rewarding job experiences. Though it is not without challenges, doing so creates an environment that is more fun and allows for better communication. Father-and-son team Mark and John Cronin’s business, for example, spreads happiness both in the office and to customers. Their business is known as John’s Crazy Socks, but their story may be equally astonishing.
While Mark is the company’s co-founder, his son John is the “Chief Happiness Officer” and founder of John’s Crazy Socks. The two spoke to Steve Adubato, PhD., to share how they are spreading happiness with their crazy socks; but more importantly, how they are also breaking the stigma around disabilities.
The Story Behind John’s Crazy Socks
The adventure of John’s Crazy Socks began nearly two years ago. During this time, John, who has Down syndrome, was entering his final year of school. He was attending Huntington High School in New York, studying retail and customer service. At this time, Mark was building online businesses.
John had to decide on his plans after graduating from high school. He spoke to his father about starting a business together, and the two began brainstorming ideas immediately. After passing on several potential plans, John had the idea of selling “crazy socks,” a pre-existing passion of his.
“I’ve liked wearing crazy socks my entire life,” said John. “I think it’s fun… I like to be creative, and they let me be me.”
The Cronin men got the business up and running quickly, and they’ve been making a difference ever since. The mission of John’s Crazy Socks is to spread happiness. Specifically, John designs many of the socks in hopes of making everyone who buys and wears them smile. Moreover, many of the socks they sell are “charity and awareness socks” that raise money for various charitable organizations; in particular, they frequently give back to the National Down Syndrome Society.