Spreading Happiness Through E-commerce - John's Crazy Socks - Ep. #001

October 06, 2021 | Author: Andrew Maff









Here’s our first episode of The E-Comm Show with Andrew Maff as your host, and for our first guests on the show, we have Mark and John Cronin of John's Crazy Socks. This episode is a heartwarming take on business and e-commerce as Mark and John share their cause and vision for John’s Crazy Socks. 


Armed with business expertise and the heart of a social enterprise, John’s Crazy Socks shares their moving origin story and how they were able to become one of largest sock manufacturers in the world all while spreading joy and happiness to both customers and employees. Learn about their journey and how they used their business as a vehicle to change lives, empower people, and make a difference one sock at a time.


Tune in and enjoy today's E-comm Show! 

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Have an e-commerce marketing question you'd like Andrew to cover in an upcoming episode? Email: hello@theecommshow.com





Spreading Happiness Through Ecommerce


Andrew Maff, Mark & John Cronin


CONNECT WITH OUR HOST: AndrewMaff.com  |  Twitter: @AndrewMaff | LinkedIn: @AndrewMaff


About Mark & John Cronin


Mark X. Cronin is the co-founder, along with his son John, of John’s Crazy Socks, a social enterprise with a mission to spread happiness. His leadership has demonstrated that pursuing social goals – demonstrating what people with differing abilities can achieve and giving back – makes for good business.

Mark advocates for the rights of differently-abled people. His advocacy work has seen Mark testify before Congress twice, speak at the UN and make numerous trips to Capitol Hill. Mark is a sought-after speaker having spoken at events across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Mark is part of the U.S. State Department’s Speakers’ Bureau.

Mark served as the Chief Operating Officer of multiple health care management and technology firms, founded a software company, organized political campaigns, and worked as a Congressional aide. Mark began his career as a schoolteacher and has taught in graduate schools as well.

Mark has an undergraduate degree from Holy Cross and a Masters's of Public Policy from the Kennedy School at Harvard University. He has been named an EY Entrepreneur of the Year and is a member of the CEO Commission on Disability Employment and a Board member for the Long Island Chapter of the Entrepreneurs Organization.



What we're offering to our customers is not merely a transaction. It's an experience when you buy from us you're helping us hire people with different abilities, you helping us give back, you helping us spread happiness. Job, Mark, and we are john.



Welcome to The E-comm Show, presented by BlueTuskr. The number one waste is your the inside scoop from other e commerce experts share their secrets on how they scaled their business and are now living the dream. Now, here's your host, Andrew.



All right. Hello, everyone. Welcome to the E comm Show. I'm your host, Andrew Maff. Today, I'm here with Mark and John of John's Crazy Socks. Mark. JOHN, you guys ready for a good show?



Yes, I feel we create data I am so grateful. We're excited to be here. It turns out, we have an e-commerce pitch and we love talking ecom. If you're you're a perfect fit, then



I really appreciate having you guys on the show. I'm super excited for this episode, just because I love your mission. And I've obviously looked into stuff before I talked to people. So it's always beneficial to know what's going on. But of course, our listeners may not know. So if you wouldn't mind, why don't you guys just give us a little bit intro about who you guys are your business. And you know, we can kind of start from there.



We're doing intro? Sure, My name is John. This is my partner, my dad mark, we are John's Crazy Socks. What's our mission pal? Spreading Happiness to know who we are? origin stories matter. So we'll tell you really quickly how we got started. Back in the fall of 2016. Where were you buddy? I had to I can't pay my my last year. John was finishing up his last year of school. People may not know this, but in the US. If you have a disability, you can stay in a school system until you turn 21 sometimes known as a 21 year old cliff. Because when you're at school, everything's right in front of you. When you turn 21 get out and you're on your own. A lot of people fall What are you looking at? I'm not I got blocked man. And I just as an option. I don't like them say to me like and that's also pretty common for people with a disability. Unemployment rate is 80%. But john here is a natural entrepreneur. He didn't see something he like, would you say you were going to do? I can't find one, I'll make one. make his own job. Would you tell me? I said I will get a partner with my dad was his idea to come so that we could go into business together? I did. I wanted to have a nice father and son still. I got three sons. He's the youngest he's the one I can work with. Then we got to figure out what we're going to do. After a couple of false starts. You had your eureka moment. I did, I want to start creating socks. Because fun is colorful a career out always. Let me be me, too. Here's what we figured. JOHN loved the socks so much. Surely there would be other people loved them too, though we could find our tribe. And you know, e-commerce moment. We went to lean startup wrap. We didn't spend a lot of time building a business plan. We didn't go looking for outside financing. We're going to bootstrap. We're going to test you would people want to do this? So you already had the name? Yep, I got my name. I taught the website where additional website we built a store on the Shopify platform. We convinced some distributors show us some socks. You have to make do with what you have when you're bootstrapping. The only marketing we did to start was to set up a Facebook page and we made some videos with my cell phone and who is in the video. I am. I talked about stocks. Dark socks, my socks. we opened in December. 2016 tested the idea. And they worked. In two weeks, we ship about 452 orders. And we had about 13,000 in revenue. So we said, okay, we've gone on to build and grow the business, and this December will be our fifth anniversary. It's a different type of business model. It's a social enterprise. So we have both a social mission and a business mission. And overall, we just want to spread happiness. Right, right. But it's really Yes. on four pillars. A Socks You Can Love, you can, right? Yeah. So we started with 37 different socks. We have now within three thousand different kinds of socks, which makes john here the owner of the world's largest socks. That's right. But Wow, we're talking e commerce. You've got to be a great e commerce business. You've got to have a great website, selection, product, service, right. That's when we start. We're always looking at the second pillar to make a personal connection with our customer. We can talk more about that. But what goes in every pack as taking note, and candy. Right. Everybody gets an Awesome, thanks.



Okay, hey, then there's giving back to We started by pledging 5% of our earnings through Special Olympics. And why the Special Olympics, I am a paralympics athlete. So we know we're gonna get back. what's gone on to create products that raise money and awareness for causes. What was the first one we made? awareness? First, right download to awareness. We've gone on to create autism awareness Socks, CP awareness Sox last year during the pendant when a pandemic first hit. We made we want to thank frontline workers, we made healthcare superheroes. they've raised over $50,000 for frontline workers. We're rolling out now a joint project with the American Cancer Society. So there's a lot of giving back baked into what we do. It's not well, let's see we have money at the end of the year or write a check. It's part of everything we do. But most importantly, we want to show what's possible. Yeah. What can people with a different ability deal with to give him a chance. So more than half of our employees have a different ability. It's not enough just to hire people. We want to show people, we create content. We host school tours, we do speaking engagements. So prior to the pandemic, we've crossed Canada, US, Mexico, we're part of the State Department's speaker's bureau. And to do that move online, we spoke around the world. And we do advocacy work. We've testified twice before Congress. Yes, we've spoken at United Nations yet. And all that wraps up to John's Crazy Socks. So what we're offering to our customers, which is really our community is not merely a transaction. It's an experience. Right, the way we package the way we deliver things. When you buy from us, you know, you're helping us hire people with different abilities. You're hoping to skip back. You don't want to spread happiness. How cool is that?



So much of this was amazing. I don't even know where to begin. That was I was, it's the best intro to a business ever. I love the mission. It makes so much sense. And the fact that the amount that you've done in like five years is astonishing. Compared to let's ignore the fact that you've built this massive e commerce business. You've done so much for advocacy. It's like speaking in front of Congress instinct. That's amazing. That's, I don't even know how to, like, reiterate that. Like it's just that's so cool. And to have the largest. So you said you're the largest Socks distributor or a retailer of choice, and we're not showing Walmart Yeah, or target. Yes, that is amazing. So okay, so let's, let's let's dive into that a little bit. That's a ton of SKUs. So how are you guys managing that large of a product line like That's a ton of inventory that's like, how often are you coming out with new SKUs? Like, what's that whole process look like?



Okay, so first price in the beginning, or initially, we didn't make any socks, we were buying from other, we should do that we get from about 27 different suppliers. So we're picking the best of what we can find everybody here picks, and our customers help us get what we're going to get, right? Because we want to maximize the choice so you can personalize what you get. We do makes design some of our own and make some of our own. Last year, we entered into a strategic partnership with a third generation family business that made Socks. It boosts our ability to produce our own socks. So we're adding more and more of our own all the time. It's not unlike any other business. We keep what sells we drop, what doesn't. And we add new things all the time. We do work very hard just in time inventory. So we're ordering all the time. We're like everybody else screwed up by the province. It's a supply chain now. Because we have so many suppliers in so many different places that gives us opportunities to get things from multiple places. Okay, so with



so are you do you have a three PL you're shipping out? Have you guys have your own warehouse? How does the GP world,



We have our own warehouse, we do our own fulfillment. And actually choice for a couple of reasons. One, we want to create jobs. So that the way we create jobs, but the other, we become very good at kind of customizing complex fulfillment. So we're now doing that for others as well. Here's an example Jeez. So we want to give you as a customer experience. It's not just a transaction, we want to make it personal. So we told you every package gets a handwritten thank you note and some candy. Yes, it is a photocopy handwritten note. But now we have five different packages, depending on how many orders you've placed, so if your first order, you're getting one set of inserts, if it's your second or third, you get another one and so on until we reach over five orders. We're able to do that because we do our own fulfillment.



That is genius. I never thought to do that. So like on a marketing side, you always think of like, you know, doing that from an email aspect of you know, oh, here's your new customer, your repeat customer or anything like that. But to do that on the fulfillment side and have it as different inserts is genius. You guys did a fantastic job of following through, you know, that customer journey and then just making sure that you know, you're specializing in every way through the entire process. It's just amazing.



You have to once you are committed once you really believe, then it becomes manifest in everything you do. I'll give you another example. So we send out candy. We also sell socks for diabetic. So one day one of our happiness Packers says Hey, what do we do and send in candy to diabetic so now what what now we have a supply of sugar free candy that we sent. It also gives us the ability to in an ad hoc way flag different packages to throw something extra and do something extra. right from day one. Originally, first day we were doing home delivery. So now we've shipped to 85 different countries 360,000 packages, john still does home deliveries. If we get an order between our office warehouse and where we live on the way home he said that I've used delivering that back



That's so cool. And you guys have done an amazing job with with following that through like that you guys are like the king of operations like to be able to own on your own like the aspect of the entire journey all the way through. And like you find a lot of sellers who are just like oh, I want a three PL I don't want to do Deal with warehouse and employees and things like that. But you're a great testament to owning the process throughout the entire step is a great way to keep that customer, I'm sure you have a pretty large returning customer base just based on what you've told me so far,



we deal with very loyal customers. Again, you're always looking, right? So here's one of the things we do on your packing slip, you're gonna see a sticker with the picture and the name of the person who picked your order. Because we want you to know, we're real people here. We don't just treat you as a number we're connecting with you. And one of the things we do is we hire people with differing abilities, you should need that. Right? So when you get that package from us, it's got his mug on the outside, because he's a logo. Right? You get this nice, cheery, colorful pack. You open it up, you get your socks. Right. And it may seem really basic. But you gotta get the order. Right. You got to be accurate. Yeah, there's got to be there on time. We do same day shipping. Right? You get your socks. You get the handwritten note from john, on the flip side of that is the story of John's crazy socks. You get some candy. You get 2 discount cards. Why to discount cards? One for our customers one to give to a friend, right? So when you get that pack just the experience of opening that package? Gotta make you smile. It's gonna make you happy. You can't get it from Amazon. No, he can't. He chose the thank you note and candy and his packet. That these Oh, so we Amazon has Prime Day. All right. We're, I want to say we want to emulate Shakespeare and Bob Dylan. Because we want to steal from everybody. We will steal a good idea. Wherever we get. They have Prime Day. we in turn day. That's it says Happy birthday. Right? Always. On Prime Day, what do we do? I mean, I'm john Bay, where we give out things. So our customers, we donate $1 from every order in the Special Olympics, because that's what we are at. Amazon is not donating $1 from every order to anybody on Prime Day. Now they're donating it to Jeff space program. And don't get me wrong. I respect what Amazon does, is just a very different business model. But we're, we're talking to you commerce. You got to have the basics down. You got to have that foundation. It may sound easy, but get the order accurate. Get it delivered on time. Right? Answer the phone, answer the email be there. When you because I'll make the analogy to was the alternative lineman in football. You don't notice when they do a good job. But you notice and they give up a sack. Right? How can we spread happiness? Should you get a package in it's not on time or it's not delivered? Well, yeah. But here's also something to follow through, right? There's a great talk last week, differentiating between customer service and customer experience. Right banks give you customer service. We don't time any conversations with anyone. It's a human interaction. And we will refund money for anything we guarantee for you. If you're not happy, you don't have to send us a sock factory tell us we'll give you your money. We send people money, we do anything we can. Because we will make them happy. Our return rate or refund rate is less than point 5% of our revenue. Go. Because if what you're about is making people happy, you don't have problems. Yeah.



I mean, it's it's nice to hear a seller say that and it's also at the same time bittersweet just because I know how many sellers I've spoken to who don't realize like covering the basics is so important. Everyone's always focused on like, Oh, you know, this person is doing this cool little tag like hacked and they're doing this or they're doing this and I want to try it. With no one's focusing on just the basics, like just get it to them in time, if you said you're gonna do it, then do it. If you're, you know, give a great customer experience. If you're gonna offer free days, free shipping, make sure it's free shipping every time like that, just the basic stuff. And it's amazing how sellers just kind of oversee that it is nice to hear someone like yourself who's just like, no, we're gonna cover that first before we start doing any bells and whistles,



how why would you want to be otherwise? And it's important internally. Because all people feel good about working here. Right there, they're not fighting with people know, Andrew, who is our Lord of the Sox, he's a head of off of them right? Now good, he feels that he knows that he's getting all those packages out. He's making sure they're accurate. Right? And he's involved in all of our we don't we're very small organizations. We come up with all sorts of ideas of things we're going to do. And like Andrew, you can tell us why this is going to be hard. But your job is to figure out how can we do? And he does. And it makes them happy. Right? Or for our folks that work directly with customers. You've heard the old line, the customer's always right. Nonsense. customer can be dead wrong. Yeah. But we're in the business of being right. When did their system making them happy. So all people don't have to fight with customers. They don't have to argue. They just don't win games. Everybody's better off. But I'll give you another example where all of us get to decide the world we want to live in. I walked in this is now a month or so ago, into a conversation with some of our colleagues. And it turned out a woman who called up and wanted to order some socks, and pay by cheque which we're going to mail a check. Because here's the simple thing we wrote today, we only sell online, and you got to pay online. Unless of course you call us and say, Can I order over the phone? Or can I mail you a check? Well, we screwed up. We didn't put the water aside to where the timer checker buys. One of the stocks we were out of stock. Okay. So I'm listening to this. I'm saying Well, why don't we just send it by the way? And the answer was all we didn't have to check it. Show up. So let me ask you, Andrew, if you told somebody you were going to send him a check, would you send a check? Yes, of course, you would not talk in an anonymous person. We're talking to somebody we're talking to on the phone. They did send us a check. So literally been at World this live in the world where somebody tells us Yes, we're going to do so. And we believe them. And we trust it and we take them by their word. And we're going to treat them that way. Well, it turns out when we check, unintended, so we'll have our date anniversary in December. Nobody has ever bounced a check. So now, if you hold us up and tell us want an order, and I'll send you a check, we'll show you We'll keep that order that day. We believe the check was gonna come Well, we get burned someday maybe we do a POC show you We'll never do it again with you. As a crew to be a problem. Maybe we're just but it's not a problem.



Yeah, I agree. I mean, it's kind of like that whole thing that you know, people say like, Oh, you have to earn my trust. And I've never really understood that to me, I always under never really got it. I was always kind of thinking like, why should I have to earn your trust I've, in my opinion, trust is given, you have to basically deserve to lose my trust. In that case, it's it's very similar of like, yeah, if someone sends you a check and or doesn't send you a check, even though they said they would then great, then you don't accept it next time. But if you just go ahead and trust people and look at, you know the benefit of the human nature, then obviously, you're going to end up giving a better customer experience. And that's where your word of mouth starts to spread. And obviously the business starts to grow from there. So I completely agree.



But my middle son just had a number of really terrible jobs. Sometimes I think he looks terrible. And he was working at a nutraceutical place. And they are customers service. When he showed up, he had to empty his pockets out and put them in a locker. When he walked into the room, he had to sign into a computer. And that monitored everything he did. He got limited bathroom time and had to sign off for a specific amount of time. They had hammers watching they're monitoring it. Guess what? those tables deliver terrible service. Because if you treated them that way if they're going to act that way If you do the opposite of I, I believe in you, I want to help you, you know, if you take the notion, yes, I just seem so simple to me, I work for everybody here. My job is to put everybody here in a position to succeed, to get them wherever they need to succeed. So if I do that, if everybody can succeed, and I'm serving that, we're all going to be better off. And think of the better world that is



That's amazing way to run a business. I love that. That's, that's awesome. Yeah, let's, um, let's, let's pivot back to something that you had mentioned in the beginning, which I found very interesting. So I always find a lot of sellers are constantly looking for really professional, amazing, great ways to create content, but you had mentioned that you guys would grab your phone. And we'll just kind of create things that way. And obviously, clearly, it's worked for you, which is amazing. And then again, in this industry, like social enterprise alone, which has obviously become a very big thing, and then socks, which even in that general area is also a very big thing. So how is it you leverage just creating your own content, and yet are still able to differentiate yourself from, you know, a pretty vast amount of competitors that you guys have?



Okay, I can share our experience, I'm not going to claim to be an expert. Okay. First, in the last five years, the world has changed much different. But our approach is, we're trying to engage with people. We're sharing who we are and what we're about. And that's how we're going to connect. That's more about the story and the content. And to a certain extent, vulnerability, then it is about bye, bye, bye. We have an advantage. If, if all we were doing was showing songs, right? I told you when we started, we didn't do that the traditional business plan. Guy now since I haven't counted. There were exactly one gazillion companies. Selling socks if all we're doing is selling socks, we lost, how do you differentiate yourself? Yeah. For us, the socks become the physical manifestation of what we do. They become the fact become the physical manifestation of the story. Give me one really great shot. But what are we gonna say ours are stronger, tougher, thicker last longer than your tech. So we get to keep telling a story. Because we have that issue. If it allows us to persist, and to withstand up to down, you know, hey, here's an example. We get hit with a pandemic. pandemic auto provision. So what do you do? Well, you got to adjust. Then you got to take away the opportunity. So to create some of the opportunities, okay, we started showing man. But what's our mission? Now stay happy. How can we spread happiness during a pandemic? So Tuesday afternoons at three o'clock, I hope identify every every Tuesday don't host an online dance party. What's more fun than that? Talk people dancing on zoom. Right? We're not showing them socks. We're just saying we're gonna help spread some happy. So it's think about movies. Best movies, that was story. It's not the graphics, the chase scene. It's it's a story. You can have all the grants exceed one special effects professional story. It's a terrible thing. Right, you got a there's got to be some there there. And if that's what drives your content, no, we were looking to have better made content. With the experiment. we're experimenting with different ways of filming some things but in the end, It's got to be what we're about. So I mean, here's an example with email. You know, email lists are what matters. That's something we all but when somebody gives us their email, they're entrusting that to us. You got to protect it. We never sell it. We never trade it to somebody else. Every Friday John sends email out all it is John giving an update on what he's doing, or what's exciting. This week is about your taking a vacation, right? Last week, it was about something we did with the Kennedy family. And the Joseph P. Kennedy Foundation, which now wants to work with startups and innovators working in the field of in paperweight intellectual development disability, what was the lead photo was John sailing with Max and Kennedy and Jim Schreiber. We weren't selling anything. We're connecting and engaging with an audience. We have 250,000 names for our email list. And we're only sending that to about 60,000. If you don't want to read emails, okay. Yeah, we sent emails out about products. We're not hitting you every day with an email. We're in it for the long haul. where, you know, working on a list. Yeah. We're not looking for a short sale this Saturday sale for what the long relationship? If you take that view with your social media, if you think about what can we do to connect with people engage? How do we build a community? And make do with what you have? Now? I'm a baseball fan. Too much money makes you stupid. The windup like the Yankees over spending? your mistakes, we can't afford to do that. Right? Hey, pretty good.



I could just hearing you talk would be great to have you guys in like different conferences. Just it's amazing how the way you speak about the way that you're running your business is just so straightforward. Like it's very common sense. Like, it's amazing. The people we talk to sometimes were, like you'd said, like, I know, you guys are leveraging social media a lot to spread your story. And it's amazing how many sellers are out there just posting pictures of their products all the time, and are just saying like, you know, look at look at our jewelry or look at this electronic we have or something like that. And that's not what social media is about. It's about building a community and just leveraging that audience just to tell a story. And then yeah, you sell products. And that's that's what it is. But that has to come secondary. And so many owners struggle with that, because they think that that product is their livelihood, when in reality, it's really more the audience is their livelihood,



and I understand the pressure. We got to sell, if don't sell we'll got to do something else. I don't think neither of us had any background in retail. I've never run a warehouse before you. We don't have special training. I mean, yes, I've prepared my whole life but this interview. We take it. It's what you said it's common sense. We don't we don't compare ourselves to others are watching all the time. I told you I want to steal every good idea. We can. Yeah, we can't we don't have very good idea. We're humble about that. But what makes sense for us. Here's a small example. We have a soccer month. Pretty well with that. People view us as a gift company. We don't set ourselves up that way. And we understand why they do that. So many of our shots are gifts the sacrament of our gift. So we struggle with renewal. We get very high reviews on it. People love it, but we don't get a lot of renewal. We've had consultants, advisors, sales people tell us, this is easy. You make it an auto renewal. So they have to bear to affirmatively stop that. Okay. That would make us more money. But I can tell you as a consumer, I hate that So why would we do that? Yeah. Yes, it would give us more money at some point. Maybe short term, but not long term. Right. It's, it's why we had to find the right strategic partner. We have people in here, they wanted to buy the brand, we had investors wanted to buy it, shut us down, change everything, and just have the brand. We could have made money doing that they would have made money, but a year will be gone.



So what is the goal of the company towards the end, like on more of a personal level, like, you know, sometimes sellers want to eventually just sell off their business, some want to hand it down? Some want it to be a generational thing? Like, what is what's kind of the goal there?



We have no exit strategy. How old are you? I'm 25 we wanted to get restarted. Just the two of us. Because you're wanting to give john meaningful work for the rest of his life. We have structured the company so john will be taken care of. We we are completely driven. How many more people can we reach in touch? I wish everybody could come in here at the holidays. And see us when we got 70 people working this places a Buzz and all these folks, people down syndrome and autism and fragile X places worrying. There's nothing better in the world. We hear all the time from people in very, very passionate ways. We wanted to were you did What can you hire my son, my daughter. We have to grow? To reach more people to get more people job, or people or opportunity? Um, some of the initiatives we have. So next month, we're going to introduce our happiness index. Play responses, where's we're spreading happiness for this measure. And we're experimenting and figuring that out. But 50% will come from our customers. And we're looking at things like our net promoter score, or reviews, what percentage of our reviews have five star reviews? Answers 96% out of 29,000. So what's the return rate? And half come from our colleagues from our employees. This is happy to chose to start here. And it was like we're experimented with different surveys this week, did you feel proud to be working here? Did you feel connected to the mission? And then we're going to put it on our website? And you will see what's our happiness index? Where are we at then we're going to ask other companies to do that too. Because we'd like to ask every company how much happiness are you creating for the world? Imagine if the President of the United States when she or he came and spoke to us on the podium was the happiness index for the US government, how much happiness you. So that's one thing. We have another initiative, we expect to roll out in early 2022. We're calling it the JCS champions program. But it's very simple. We want to put 1000 people into business within five years 1000 people with different abilities than most m&m families, we want to give them a business and put them in business, we're going to give them a business at a bar, we will give them a rack or a kiosk, we're gonna give them inventory, we're going to connect them with a credit card processor, we're going to give them marketing materials to give them training and ongoing support. So other people like john can show that entrepreneur ism is an avenue for everybody. And they could have their business, we want to see 1000 of those businesses across the country lighting up and showing look what we can do. Cool would that be.



That is amazing. Both of those ideas are awesome. Like the happiness one is blowing my mind right now cuz obviously right now with everything going on now that the pandemic is easing up a little bit. And obviously there's all these issues of people getting back into jobs and there's a lot of jobs but no one wants them and all this fun stuff. The idea of having a live feed of how your employees and your customers are feeling about your business on your on your website at any given moment is genius. I love that so much because how many people would go to a site With a company that they would shop for all the time, but then see that their employees are not happy business is over. And now all of a sudden that your owner has to turn around and go, Wait, we need to focus more on our employees, because now our customers are upset that we're not taking care of our employees. And then you have the opposite of you land on someone's site, and you don't know anything about them. But you're seeing that their employees are thrilled, and they're loving working there. All of a sudden, you're like, Alright, well, let me see what this business said. And you kind of like, Oh, that's genius.



I love that part of the power of the social enterprise. I mean, if what you want is the cheapest product, you can always find that. Yeah, there are always places you can go at a very tough space. But increasingly, consumers are asking, Who are you? What are you doing with my money? How do you treat your employees? How do you treat the community? How do you treat the environment? If you have a social enterprise, you can answer those questions. So we're not right for everybody I saw yesterday on LinkedIn. Somebody different podcasts had posted a podcast interview with us through a bunch of comments. And one person said, we only looked at the website, they had four or five socks I would like but the prices were very odd. Okay. I'm sorry, they will thank you for giving us a chance. And sorry, we disappointed you. We get new things all the time. But if you're looking for inexpensive socks, and you need help, let me know, I'll be glad to give you a list of places to go. Uhm, that's not us. Bye, will help you. You know, we can't be all things to all people. No. You can't please everybody. No. So you have to know. You got to know who you are at the end of the day. You have to listen to your customers. Listen to your critics. You can't fall prey to either the praise or the criticism. We have to look ourselves in the mirror and ask Are we being true? Yeah. Right. One of the things in this space that you know, we think of all the time. We can't blame this on headquarters. We can't blame it on the board. It's us. Us board. Right? That that's it. We have no excuses. But we got asked by a high school kid not long ago in a talk we're given. Who did you have to get permission from to do that? And it's an interesting notion. But people act that way all this time. I can't do it, why not? Go do it. Who's gonna stop you. So if you come back and ask us where we're going, we got to reach more people. We got to create more jobs. We've got to create more opportunity to show more things. And we're incredibly fortunate, because of the platform we've been given. But it then creates an obligation. If we had that opportunity, if we'd been given this opportunity, we now have an obligation to do more to thrive. I think Sister ropers frame that people related, I think to Spider Man, you know, to those given much comes great responsibility. That's why we have no, right. I'll tell you a funny story about how that works. Great. So we're down in Capitol Hill, and we're going to testify before the house small business committee. You know, one thing they get the heads of various organizations advocacy organization CEO, who is the only one that actually has a person with a different ability, their end goal was to star the show. But that day that we share on social media is what we're doing. We get a phone call from all customer and used to speak to one of our colleagues and says, No, they really on Capitol Hill. Yes. Well, my mother works there. And she's a big fan of John's would love to meet john. Do you think they'd have time to meet her? Cool. Here's smart cell number two text from the contacted who is mom, Nancy Pelosi. Yeah. So we get to your audience with Nancy Pelosi. And here's one of the things people forget. It's an unfortunate thing. We either Ward or or vilifies these elected officials indicative. So I don't care where you want the political spectrum name to Pelosi is an Italian grandmother. We go where she takes out pictures of socks that she gave George Bush, George HW Bush, Jr. had become sad parties with the former president that they had exchanged socks. So this is Mormon wasn't she's, they've taken photos together. She's telling stories Exactly. But then I'm saying But Miss Pelosi, we got to also have a conversation. Today, we're trying to repeal the sub-minimum wage, which allows employers to pay somebody with a disability as little as five cents an hour. There were 400,000 people working under these conditions. And we have to change that. Right? Because if we're given the opportunity to meet a person in power, we got to speak up. Absolutely. Right. That's what I mean. It creates the obligation and when a threat I mean, it's great fun, you know, for me to be sitting, literally in the halls of Congress, next to my son, about to peak peak the power. Ah, it was so awesome. And he's just like, wow, I speak to groups all the time. It's great. Yeah, had, we had another moment? Well, they've been a lot like that. We won. It's not self-aggrandizement. But we want the Entrepreneur of the Year awards from eBay, Ernst and Young, right. They clarified things by changing the name from Ernst and Young to eBuy. And we're at a conference they have in Palm Springs, this is how the other half lives. And the managing partner from the New York authors is having breakfast with me in China. We just happened to sit same table says, You know what, we have a big town hall, 5000 employees. In December, I want you guys to come and speak. I was gonna have the CEO of clear, I don't want you and I'm looking at them say where are you at your mind? We're gonna have a big IPO they're gonna make a point, we sell socks. We go to this thing. We're in a side room waiting to go on stage when Carmine De Sibio, who is the worldwide CEO for EY comes into eBay has 250,000 employees. And this is the guy in charge. Now with NET Core might be for him. He's a very nice guy very down to earth when he enters the room, you know, because everybody their body language changes. Everything changed. Except john. Is the room Johnson calm? I find it in hugging and everybody around the room. It's like, What the hell was going on here? But he's like, some other guy. Yeah, you know? It's amazing. Uh, look, I really appreciate having you guys on the show. I don't want to take up too much of your time. I know you guys need to go back to spread and happiness because you're doing so much better at it than I am. So I don't want to take up too much of your time. Any closing remarks anything? You want to let everyone know where they can find you and all that fun stuff? Well, we should do that. Right? If you want to get great socks, where can you get them at johnscrazysock.com Johnscrazysocks.com, that we can take the world's largest socks. You get great socks. You're going to help us employ people with different abilities. You're going to help us get back. I mean, here's the really cool thing. JOHN here is a Special Olympic athlete who's now donated over $100,000 and especially how cool is that? That's amazing. And you buy from us you're gonna help us spread happiness. It's and you have some advice I do. Follow your dreams, follow your heart. Work hard. There's nothing you can't do there you go.



Great way. And of course, obviously, Mark, John, I appreciate having you guys on the show to all of our listeners. Obviously. Thank you for tuning in. Make sure you head over to theecommshow.com and subscribe to the show on any podcast platform or YouTube or anywhere you want to go. And then of course, keep selling and good luck out there. See you all next time.


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