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Welcome to Her Success Story.

Women inspire me every single day. Their tenacity, wit, enthusiasm, power and grace have provided the world with amazing businesses that have transformed industries. Her Success Story is a podcast that allows these impactful and fascinating women to share their success journey with the world. Their triumphs, along with their failures. Their lessons, along with their leadership. And their determination to follow their dreams. Listen in each week as we talk to women in fashion, coaching, corporate, legal and so much more.

Our theme song is Irresistible Me by Cindy Rainne. 

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Dec 24, 2018

Mark and John CroninMark Cronin
John Cronin

John’s Crazy Socks




John Lee Cronin
Chief Happiness Officer

John Cronin is a 22-year-old man full of life and aspirations who happens to have Down syndrome. He is the co-founder of John’s Crazy Socks which has a mission to spread happiness through socks. Part of our goal at John’s Crazy Socks is to empower people and demonstrate the possibilities that each of us possesses. John serves as the face of the company and embodies those qualities in all he does.

To prepare for his current role, John underwent years of schooling. He began his education in the pre-school program at ACDS and still remembers those days fondly. John moved onto the Huntington School system which he completed in June 2017. John’s school work included life skills classes as well as electives such as fashion and photography and he was a proud member of the school chorus. During his last three years, John split his days between Huntington High School and Wilson Tech where he studied office skills and retailing. After school, John participated in the Grand-Friends Club and the Relay for Life events. Wilson Tech named John their Outstanding Student of the Year. 

For a young man, John has strong work experience. In the summer of 2016, he worked in the kitchen of a local day camp, Camp Alvernia. For several years, he worked as the mail clerk at the Schlitt Law Firm. Arriving at the office every day after school, John maintained the mail supplies and stamps and made the daily run to post office, sorting envelopes and packages for the fastest delivery. He also assisted in general maintenance of the office, handling the shredding, running errands and lending a hand whenever he could. 

Since an early age, John devoted himself to Special Olympics activities. He engages in snowshoe, basketball, track, soccer, floor hockey and bowling. His efforts have won John numerous medals and invitations to the New York State Games for soccer, track and snowshoe. In fact, John was named an alternate to the U.S. National Snowshoe Team for the Special Olympics World Games in March 2017.

John is both the co-founder and inspiration for John’s Crazy Socks. It was John’s deep and abiding love for his “crazy socks” that gave rise to this venture. John has long maintained his personal style that does not confirm to whims of the fashion industry or dictates of others: it is a style he makes manifest with his spirit and personality. His colorful, fun and often whimsical socks (Bacon!) are just part of who he is.

Here at John’s Crazy Socks, John does a little bit of everything. He writes thank you notes to customers, does thank you videos, helps fill orders and helps pick out the socks that we will carry in the store. And he’s our ambassador, extoling the virtues, beauty and wonders of socks. John has appeared on numerous television shows and videos for interviews. He’s got his name above the door, so you know he’s checking to make sure we fulfill our promises.

Mark X. Cronin

The father in our father-son founding team, Mark, works behind the scenes with John upfront as the face of the business. Mark has extensive experience developing innovative organizations with a focus on customers. And he’s a Dad who is excited about working with his son. Mark X. Cronin’s career combines public service, technology and innovation. He is the President of Paumonok Innovations Inc., the parent company of John’s Crazy Socks. Paumonok develops online information sites and niche stores. Mark has a history developing digital offerings. In the 1990’s, he founded New Gutenberg software, which produced one of the first baseball informational titles.

Mark spent most of his career in the healthcare field building innovative organizations focused on improving the delivery of health care particularly to the poor and Medicaid recipients. Mark served as Chief Operating and Technology Officer for two health care management firms that empowered doctors and hospitals to better serve patients. As the head of a leading health care consulting firm, Mark advised hospitals, health centers and physician organizations to improve care and he worked with hospitals and health centers as they created some of the best known managed care organizations in New York State. 

Earlier in his career, Mark served as the Director of Medicaid Health Services in New York City where he led a major Medicaid reform initiative that included groundbreaking legislation in Albany and improvements in care while restraining costs. While with the City, Mark worked under two mayors and won an award as Manager of the Year. Mark went on to work with hospitals and health centers that created some of the best known managed care organizations in New York State. He has a background in education having taught graduate studies at NYU and lectured on management at Columbia’s School of Public Health. Early in his career, Mark taught school in Queens and worked for Congressman Joseph P. Addabbo. 

Mark received his undergraduate degree from Holy Cross and a Masters of Public Policy at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He has also studied literature at the Graduate Center for the City of New York and spent a year studying at Trinity College in Dublin.  Mark was the co-leader for the Barack Obama Grassroots Campaign on Long Island and served as one of President Obama’s appointees on the Rules Committee at the Democratic Convention in 2008.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • John’s mission: to make people happy and to go into business with his Dad
  • Some of the business ideas John had before deciding on socks
  • Why they did a lean start up and why they think this method really works
  • The only marketing they did when they launched and the awesome thing they did with the 42 orders they got on the first day
  • Being who you are and truly connecting to people
  • Their social mission and their business mission
  • The four things they are always focused on in their business
  • Their charity and awareness socks and how they give back to charity with every sale - over $180,000!
  • The report they publish every month on their website and why
  • The millions and millions of views their videos have received and the staggering amount of reviews they have online
  • Hiring people with differing disabilities and why a national retailer approached them
  • John’s work with Special Olympics and why it means so much to him
  • Getting to over $5 million in revenue in two years and the social impact and awareness in which they’ve been a part