WASHINGTON (WDVM) — On Tuesday, Congressman Andrew R. Garbarino (R-NY-02) and Congressman Tom Suozzi (D-NY-03) held a press conference in honor of two of the month’s designations: Down Syndrome Awareness Month and National Disability Employment Month.
The two representatives encouraged businesses to hire people with disabilities, and they used John’s Crazy Socks — the world’s largest sock store — as an example for others to follow.
The store is based in New York and is run by a father-son duo, Mark X. Cronin and John Cronin. John, who originally sparked the idea of John’s Crazy Socks, has Down syndrome.
“I have Down syndrome. Down syndrome never held me back,” John said.
John said he wanted to create colorful, fun socks because he has always worn them and they have allowed him to be himself. The store started out with 37 different types of socks and now the store carries over 3,000 styles to choose from.
“Our success comes because of the people we work with, and that’s what we want the world to know,” said Mark. “Hiring people with differing abilities, it’s not altruism. It’s good business.”
Over half of the employees at John’s Crazy Socks have differing abilities, and the Cronins said those same employees help them achieve their goal of spreading happiness.
Mark added, “Everybody benefits. Morale is up. Productivity is up. Retention is up and it helps us recruit. It makes us a better place to work and customers are happy. We look at what people can do, not what they can’t do, and we urge other businesses to do the same.”
Each member of Congress was gifted with their own pair of Unity Socks from John’s Crazy Socks. Each pair had American flags on them.
To check out John’s Crazy Socks, click here. Every order comes with a sticky note written by John and some candy.