It’s 10:30 a.m. in Brooklyn and Danielle Bregoli is eating olives for breakfast. Just olives—a selection of green and kalamata from the oily Key Foods salad bar, the only snack that piqued her interest after wandering the aisles, uninspired. Lingering outside the store afterwards, we scan 5th Avenue for a salon that can attend to her acrylic claws, as she doesn’t feel like herself when her nails are short. It’s clear from the jump that Bregoli doesn’t open up to strangers right away; my amusement at her breakfast of choice is met with a shrug, as if to say, “And what?”

I’ve never been more anxious to meet a 15-year-old. Frankly, I’m not sure I’ve ever spent much time with a 15-year-old since high school, let alone one who’s best known for stealing cars and roasting the elderly (i.e., anyone over 30). But it’s hard to feel intimidated by this barely five-foot presence spitting olive pits onto the sidewalk in a white tee and jeans, with her squeak of a Florida drawl and a baby-like giggle that initially catches me off guard. Instead, I feel weirdly protective, scanning the sidewalk for lingering eyes or wayward shouts of the three words no one wants to hear: “Cash me ousside!” But it’s early, and the only person who’s bothered Bregoli so far is a red-eyed drunk who loops back three times to beg for a photo only to get shot down three times by her hulking bodyguard, Frank. “Please?” the guy slurs, waving a mini vodka bottle. “I’ll let you pour this in my mouth!” Frank re-positions his nearly seven-foot frame: “Sir, you’re speaking to a child.”

The initial plan was to meet Bregoli and her team—her manager Adam, her other manager Dan, her publicist Ariana, and Frank—for a fancy lunch and spa manicure in Midtown, but Bregoli shot that down immediately. Instead, we meet at Atlantic Terminal Mall in Brooklyn, a setting she’s deemed more fitting. From there, we wander towards nearby Park Slope in search of a nail salon, the “less bougie” the better. Bregoli begrudgingly approves of a spot, and I settle in next to her for a manicure as she monitors, eagle-eyed, the length of the plastic tips being applied to her tiny fingers. The technicians hover nervously, warning her that the nails will easily break if they’re too long. Bregoli rolls her eyes: “I’ve been getting nails this length since I was 10 years old.”