Ashley Hinshaw was born in La Porte, Indiana to Chris and Craig Hinshaw. Since the age of nine, she auditioned and participated in several children's plays and youth theatre. Hinshaw began modeling in her local hometown pageant (Miss Maple City Pageant and Talent Competition) at the age of 13, where she won on beauty and photogenic for 13- to 16-year-olds and talent for 8- to 14-year-olds. In 2003 Hinshaw won third in the Queen's Court competition and second in photogenic competition in the Miss Indiana American Junior Teen Pageant. Ashley also won state finalist application process; speech; prettiest smile; and recommending the most people to participate in the pageant next year and receiving the most recommendations from competitors for her to participate again next year. Hinshaw then went on to participate in the National Miss American Coed Pageant for the Miss American Junior Teen category at the age of 14. When she was 16, Ashley Hinshaw moved to New York for her modeling career.