Zobrist was born in Orlando, Florida, on October 5, 1984, as Julianna Joy Gilmore, the daughter of Pastor Jeff and Cheryl Gilmore (née Kauk). She is the fourth child of six. Her elder siblings are Liz, Rosie, and Jeffrey Paul, and her two younger siblings are Caroline and Jonathan. Zobrist was raised in Florida for seven years before her father took a position in Iowa City, Iowa at Parkview Church, while she attended Heritage Christian School. While in high school at Iowa City High School, Zobrist became enamored with fashion. She relocated to Nashville, Tennessee, for her collegiate studies at Belmont University, where she would enroll in the fall of 2003, graduating in May 2007 with her baccalaureate in commercial voice.