23-year-old John Cronin, the founder and Chief Happiness Officer of John’s Crazy Socks, is the first person with Down syndrome to win an Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. John’s Crazy Socks offers customers a huge variety of fun, colorful socks to choose from, which all arrive with a personalized thank-you note from John himself. John and his father, Mark, won in the “Mission Driven” category of the competition, which recognizes entrepreneurs and leaders of high-growth companies for their innovation, financial performance, and impact on the world. The Ernst and Young competition is considered one of the most prestigious business awards programs in New York and beyond.
“I’m so excited to win!” Cronin said. “Every day, we want to show the world what is possible when you give someone a chance. I have Down syndrome, but Down syndrome never holds me back. Look at what people can do, not what they cannot do.”
John’s Crazy Socks earned $1.7 million in revenue in its first full year, and showed over 300% growth to $5.5 million in revenue in its second year. The Cronins offer 2,300 different pairs of socks–more than any other sock company in the world–and compete with Amazon and Wal-Mart by offering same-day shipping and excellent customer service. 96% of the company’s online reviews give John’s Crazy Socks five stars.
Five percent of John’s Crazy Socks earnings go toward Special Olympics, and the company also donates proceeds from their Autism Awareness and Charity category socks to other partners. John and Mark have raised $300,000 for the National Down Syndrome Society, the Autism Society of America, and the Williams Syndrome Association, among others, to date. John’s Crazy socks provides meaningful work for many people with disabilities across Long Island, where the company is based–more than 50% of employees are differently abled. The company shows the world what differently abled people can do once given a chance through social media, school tours, work groups, and speaking engagements. John and Mark are the only father-son team to win among Ernst and Young’s 11 overall winners.
Mark Cronin says, “All we are trying to do is change the world.”