The sixth-graders of NMS were visited by an inspirational pair—John
Cronin, of John's Crazy Socks, and his father Mark Cronin—on June 10.
John, a young man with Down syndrome, and his father Mark created and
run a successful online sock business that all started with desire to
inspire others and to spread happiness.
The father and son duo shared their inspirational story with the
students, recounting the first stages of their business ideas, the
desire to create something that would bring others happiness, and
obstacles they faced.
“Not every idea is going to be a good one, so when something fails, you
can’t just throw your hands up and quit,” said Mark. “We had to go
through a lot of ups and downs to get to where we are today, but we
wouldn’t trade it for the world.”
The business itself is currently the largest sock store in the world
with 2,300 different styles to choose from. John’s Crazy Socks also has
many designs that raise awareness and support for disabilities such as
Down syndrome and autism. Additionally, they have recently begun selling
John’s Crazy Socks holds tightly to their mission—spreading happiness
and demonstrating what people with intellectual disabilities can do. In
the spirit of this mission, more than half of the business’ employees
have different disabilities, and five percent of all earnings are
donated to the Special Olympics. John and his father also travel the
country encouraging others and raising awareness.
“We want to show the world what is possible!” John told the students, raising his fist into the air.
At the culmination of the event, students asked John questions regarding
his inspiration, what he likes most about creating socks, and more.
Some students even showed off some of their own John’s Crazy Socks, and
presented him with a gift—a Northport Middle School hat.
“Having John and his father visit was such an inspiration,” said
sixth-grade teacher Jeannette Conroy-Teri. “Life-stories like John’s
reinforce empathy, acceptance, and perseverance in our students, and is
so important for their development as kind, empathetic human beings.”